An interesting case has been taking place in El Paso, Texas. Two border patrol agents were chasing down a drug smuggler who had slipped across the Mexican border with 743 pounds of marijuana. At some point during the chase, the agents believed that the drug smuggler had a gun, and they shot at him. The agents were tried for “causing serious bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon, discharge of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence and a civil rights violation.” This week, they were convicted, with one agent receiving a 12-year prison sentence, and the other receiving a sentence of 11 years and 1 day. The drug smuggler was given immunity in exchange for his testimony against the border agents.
This is a travesty of justice. The “crime” that the border agents were guilty of was that of violating rules and procedures that essentially hamstring our border patrol agents from effectively stopping the smuggling of illegal drugs across our border (much less stopping illegal immigrants).
Today, 12 congressmen (all Republicans) submitted a letter to the White House demanding that the case be re-opened and re-investigated, and that the President pardon the two border patrol agents. This is the only course of action that makes sense; to do otherwise is to enbolden the drug smugglers and make the problem worse. White House spokesman Tony Snow has thus far refused to comment on whether President Bush will pardon the border agents, and implied that this will not happen…but we can still hope.
The challenges that we face along our border are very, very real. When the debate over border security flares up, it seems that Democrats always railroad the debate into racial terms. To do so is a great injustice to the American people. Not only are millions of illegal immigrants who refuse to acculturate into American society a threat to us, but there exists a largely unaddressed terrorism problem…not to mention the drug problem, which grows worse and worse by the day as the drug cartels become ever more militant.
Throughout the past couple of weeks, the media has been broadcasting a barrage of messages about why conservatives should stay home on November 7 and not vote – everything from alleged immorality among the ranks of Republican politicians to (more) falacious allegations of racism leveled against Republicans to self-claimed “conservatives” telling religious Republicans that they should stay home because they should keep their faith separate from their politics (“separation of church and state is in the Constitution, isn’t it?).
It is true that as the majority party, the Republicans have done an abysmal job at pushing through a conservative agenda…but to say that Republicans should stay home and not vote is tantamount to saying, “if you don’t feel like dropping a hammer on your foot, you should slit your throat.” The Republican party is not perfect. In fact, I would go as far as to say that as time goes on, the Republican party moves further and further away from true conservative values, and will soon have to either be reformed or replaced. But handing the government over to the flaming liberals will do more harm than good. Will it tell Republican politicians that their constituents want them to stand for conservative values? Maybe. But handing Congress over to liberals will definitely halt the advancement of a conservative agenda in the short term, and will very likely harm that advancement in the long term – after all, it is very difficult to re-gain the majority once it has been lost, and getting the government to spend less money is a virtual impossibility.
Personally, when I hear the media coming up with another reason I should stay home and not vote, it only makes me want to get out and cast my ballot even more. The current status of the Republican party in relation to the true conservative movement forces me not to vote for Republicans, but rather to vote against Democrats. This is not a position I enjoy, and it is not a position that can sustain the Republican party, with so many conservatives upset with them, but for now, at least, it is more than enough reason to get up and vote on November 7…if only to keep America’s progress from grinding to a screeching halt. We cannot afford to hand the War on Terror, the economy, and the security of our border over to the party that sides with terrorists, wants to raise our taxes, and would rather eliminate our borders entirely.