Three Voices on the Immigration Debate
Immigration: The Death of the Chicana/o Left
By Rodolfo F. Acuña
Prior to 1986 a clear Left voice could be heard on immigration reform. Among its priorities was that there would be no guest worker program, there would be no employer sanctions, there would be a more humane border enforcement policy, and there would be a clear path to citizenship with an absence of penalties and fees. For the most part we lost, and the only real victory was that proposals for a guest worker program died.
The truth be told, immigration reform has never been a high priority among American progressives; as a consequence, no clear vision of what immigration reform was developed outside the Mexican American community. This lack of understanding and consensus has led to the probability of compromise — that invariably leads to a negation of meaningful and just reform.
The question has become so muddled that not even the so-called Latino leadership knows what it wants. Having been invited and having sat at the Democratic Party table as guests of honor, they don’t want to rock the boat –or like my mother used to say quieren quedar bien con todo mundo.
As it is shaping up liberals seem committed to a path to citizenship for the undocumented, but they also seem willing to ignore the abuses of ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement), and are going along with the increased enforcement of immigration laws — a grotesque and massive immigration apparatus that spent $18 billion on immigration enforcement last year.
It is obvious that large chunks of the Latino leadership is willing to forget the extensive and rich literature on the bracero program, and are disposed to place their trust in President Barack Obama. The hard Left – what is left of it — opposes a guest worker program that excludes a clear pathway to citizenship for the bracero. They don’t want to go back to the days where American farmers rented Mexicans at will, and repeat a program that was full of corruption and abuses.
As a matter of fact, historically the U.S. has refused to deal with guest workers as “free labor” with the rights enjoyed by other workers. Consequently, the U.S. has engaged in a cut your nose to spite your face policy that has weakened American agriculture, with the nation importing food from China and other countries because it cannot get its crops picked.
As conservative columnist Richard M. Estrada testified in in 1995: “One must …insist that the absence of slavery does not imply the presence of freedom. As commonly understood, the term free labor also implies that an individual can sell his or her labor on the open market to whomever will contract for it. It is in this regard that guest worker programs are, by definition, unfree labor arrangements or, at the very least, not totally free labor arrangements…To be specific, the agricultural guest worker is explicitly obligated not to sell his or her labor anywhere else but to the agricultural employer who sponsors entry. Employers tend to prize guest workers for their abilities, true. But they also value them because they have no options and are, therefore, more malleable. (Employers tend to prefer the term ‘disciplined.’)”
It is difficult to talk to Democrats about “free labor;” they prefer to concentrate on the globalization, which is important. However, globalization has always been with us, and not presuming to argue with the great theorist Immanuel Wallerstein, global capitalism is part of world history, beginning before the time of Christ. Numerous transformations caused the uprooting of entire societies.
We must keep in mind that population growth in China and India caused the migration of ideas into the Middle East, Egypt, and Greece. The growth of the Chinese population and its markets moved the exploitation of the Americas, and the movement of “unfree labor.”
Another transformation took place during the Industrial Revolution, and as Oscar Handlin makes clear in his classic The Uprooted global changes in production and population growth led to the uprooting of entire societies – dispersing people not only to the United States but globally.
However, at this point, I am more concerned about what is happening today in the Latino community, and how can we cope with it? In my view, ideas are important, and the role of a Left voice is vital in counteracting the contradictions of capitalism that lead to unbridled exploitation and the loss of liberty.
At one time, the Soviet Union served as a brake on the imperial obsessions of U.S. foreign policy. Left ideas in this country have made this society more democratic by initiating major reforms. This contribution is obvious when you consider that the American right wing has not introduced a single reform. The Right’s myopic worldview seems unique to the U.S.; witness that even ultra-conservative German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck initiated universal health care in the 19th century.
In recent times, Mexico was developing a Left voice, but it was muffled by the absorption of the left parties into el Partido de la Revolución Democrática, PRD, in the late 1980s. The coalition of left parties then became a social-democratic political party, and electoral politics softened its voice.
History suggests that a similar process has occurred within the Mexican American community. As we have become more invested in electoral politics, our electoral gains have softened the voice of the Left within the community on issues ranging from identity to police brutality. Our elected officials seem more willing to make arrangements, and at the national level our organizations often move to the right to accommodate the interests of other middle class Latinos. Witness that there was no outcry when Marco Rubio pretended to speak for “Latinos” on immigration.
Because of the size of the Latino community, 70 percent of which is Mexican American, it is inevitable that we have been drawn into the game of politics. Without a doubt, the 2012 Presidential Election is a watershed in Chicana/o History. It is a recognition of our numbers not our skill at playing the political game. In my view, in order to survive the game, we must play it collectively and have clear principles.
Not wanting to sound cynical, it will become more difficult for the Left to be heard because of the transformations brought about by the 2012 election. It is significant that a cadre of wealthy Latino business owners, entertainers, lawyers and financiers formed a PAC and collected roughly $30 million for Obama’s re-election.
The sum contributed is not significant, but the emergence of the Latino PAC is. Its bundlers sit or will sit on the boards of national Latino organizations. As a group they will represent Latino interests and collectively their political clout and leverage will increase – neutralizing left of center views. Necessarily their schooling and class interests will diverge from positions of the Left on questions such as immigration.
I am not questioning the good faith of the members of the Latino PAC members; however, how they acquired their knowledge and life experiences often form their views and how strongly they feel about them. Attending an Ivy League is an accomplishment but it also acculturates you, and may even make you more willing to compromise on issues such as immigration. You rationalize that a half a loaf is better than none.
Consider that for a time our voices could be heard through massive demonstrations such as those in 1994 and 2006. If history teaches us anything, we should study why after 1994 they diminished in size largely due to the 1996 Presidential Election and again after 2006 due to the 2008 Election.
SAVE APRIL 27, 2013 FOR A TAKE BACK YOUR HISTORY NIGHT
HELP, SEND ME YOUR EMAILS AND SPREAD THE WORD
Response to Rudy Acuna, Carlos Montes
Rudy many of us on the Chicano left have continued the fight for immigrant rights and the struggle for equality of Chicanos! We have continued to raise it also in the fight to defend public education and our anti war work. You may be too focused on other issues or writing to have noticed, (csun) is one of the only big colleges that has not invited us (me) to speak on this topic and the recent FBI/police attack on me and the 23 other anti war activists who denounced Romney/Bush/McCain at the last two RNC Conventions and made the struggle for immigrants rights a front and center issue. At the large 2012 march on the RNC I was an invited main speaker on the fight for immigrants rights and the FIRST speak at the press conference attended by the the WORLDWIDE media. My first sentence was; “from Alabama to Arizona immigrants especially Mexicans face racist repression by the US ICE/police”…The international media carried that message, coming from a Chicano left activist. Locally in LA, December of 2008 we founded the SCIC Southern California Immigration Coalition, a independent grassroots coalition of community Chicano groups and left organizations. We have consistently demanded Legalization for ALL, NO Guest worker programs, and and End to the ICE/police repression. For the last several years we had the campaign to stop police checkpoints and car impounds targeting mostly the Mexican/Chicano poor barrios, and we won some victories. Along the way we protested and pressured LAPD Chief Beck and Mayor Antonio. We have also held our own May 1 march and rallies were we have consistently held and voiced an anti imperialist political view and insisted on our basic demands and had the voice of the rank and file undocumented workers. We have refused to settle for less and demand legalization for ALL, not just a few. We have also organized state wide conferences and united our fight to issues such as Drivers Licenses for undocumented and have take these issues to our local city government and the local Neighborhood Councils. One other example we organized a campaign to protest and expose the LAPD killing of Manuel Jamines, a Guatemalan/Mayan in Pico Union and denounced the SCOMM police/ICE collaboration, and US intervention in support of the military repressive government of Guatemala that has led to the mass displacement of Guatemalans to LA!
Last night the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council(mostly Chicanos) voted on and passed a motion to support the Legalization for All National Call to action statement!! See the link below. Anyway, Rudy, and at the Riverside National Leadership Summit at UCR we all united on Legalization for all, NO to a guest worker program, no more ICE enforcement, AND WE REJECTED THE CURRENT OBAMA US SENATE PROPOSALS!
The struggle continues, even thought the Chicano business class try to settle for less we will not accept this and fight for Legalization for All and struggle for equality and self determination for the Chicano people! see links and web sites below, this was just a quick response.
The time is now!
Legalization for all!
Jan B. Tucker: with few exceptions, the Latino political class ignores the views of the immigrants themselves in the immigration debate
Some years ago, I met with leaders of several of the Mexican immigrant “Federaciones,” the primarily social/educational organizations of paisanos of various Mexican states/regions/cities that had recently begun to be politicized as a result of the massive Mayday immigration marches. The meeting took place arranged by the then leaders of LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens), Angel and Argentina Luevano and others, prior to the pro-Republican/Puerto Rico New Progressive Party government takeover of national and state LULAC (after which we all made our Exodus to the National League of Latin American Citizens, NLLAC).
During this meeting the Federacion leaders showed us a white paper presented to them by the Congressional Latino Caucus which amounted to the CLC pronouncement of what the Federaciones were expected to swallow whole and tell their members to accept. Of course, their had been and would be no input expected from them in return on the policy positions that CLC had already arrived at. When I looked it over, I opined that the CLC position was bullshit, that it amounted to more of the same, i.e., United States of America (EEUU) unilateralism which ignored the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the Protocols of Quaretaro, the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights, and other very relevant aspects of international law, not too mention that the CLC’s position had no respect for the history of the border, immigration, and human rights issues from the perspective of Mexico and Mexicans. After Angel Luevano translated my remarks, the Federacion leaders looked at each other and then their primary spokesperson said, “what he [me] just said; have him write that up.”
So I did. I called it El Plan de Arleta, for the barrio I grew up in:
El Plan de Arleta
(The Manifesto of Arleta)
Speaking Truth to Power
The purpose of this “Plan,” this Manifesto, is to speak truth to power.
It was with power, not authority, not the force of law or morality that in 1846 the United States of America began a war of aggression against Los Estados Unidos de Mexico. Some in America at that time attempted to speak truth to power. On May 11, 1846 President Polk asked Congress to declare war on Mexico. Freshman Representative Abraham Lincoln introduced “spot resolutions” and told the House of Representatives that:
…the president unnecessarily and unconstitutionally commenced a war with Mexico….The marching an army into the midst of a peaceful Mexican settlement, frightening the inhabitants away, leaving their growing crops and other property to destruction, to you may appear a perfectly amiable, peaceful, un-provoking procedure; but it does not appear so to us.
Henry David Thoreau refused to pay his taxes because they would support the unjust war against Mexico, was jailed for his refusal, and later wrote in his essay Civil Disobedience that “Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison.”
It is appropriate that this Plan is commenced to be written on St. Patrick’s Day, for it pays homage to the San Patricios, who left the American invasion forces and then fought for and died for Mexico. They fought under a flag which said “Libertad para la República Mexicana” and “’Erin go Bragh’ (Ireland for Ever).”
The Resistance to Agression In Alta California
Following the occupation of Los Angeles by American naval and marine forces, the Marine garrison, led by Captain Gillespie, treated the populace with such brazen contempt and oppression, that it revolted. On October 8, 1846 Californios resisted American occupation and routed the forces of Capt. Gillespie of the U.S. Marines in the “Battle of the Old Woman’s Gun” in Southern California. The local militia that had been organized sent a contingent to San Diego which liberated that town from the American forces. They chased Capt. Gillespie and the Marines out of Ventura, out of Santa Barbara and liberated the territory up to San Luis Obispo.
On November 16, 1846 American and Mexican militia battled at Natividad, near Salinas.
On December 6, 1846 Californio liberation forces killed 22 Americans under Gen. Stephen Watts Kearny during the “Battle of San Pascual” in Southern California.
On January 10, 1847 Gen. Kearny and Commodore Stockton recaptured Los Angeles from Californio rebels and on January 13, 1847 at the “Capitulation of Cahuenga” organized resistance to American rule in California came to an end.
The Treaty Rights
Of Mexicans and their Descendants
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was entered into between America and Mexico on February 2, 1848. Its provisions include:
ARTICLE VIII Mexicans now established in territories previously belonging to Mexico, and which remain for the future within the limits of the United States, as defined by the present treaty, shall be free to continue where they now reside, or to remove at any time to the Mexican Republic, retaining the property which they possess in the said territories, or disposing thereof, and removing the proceeds wherever they please, without their being subjected, on this account, to any contribution, tax, or charge whatever.
Those who shall prefer to remain in the said territories may either retain the title and rights of Mexican citizens, or acquire those of citizens of the United States. But they shall be under the obligation to make their election within one year from the date of the exchange of ratifications of this treaty; and those who shall remain in the said territories after the expiration of that year, without having declared their intention to retain the character of Mexicans, shall be considered to have elected to become citizens of the United States.
In the said territories, property of every kind, now belonging to Mexicans not established there, shall be inviolably respected. The present owners, the heirs of these, and all Mexicans who may hereafter acquire said property by contract, shall enjoy with respect to it guarantees equally ample as if the same belonged to citizens of the United States.
ARTICLE IX The Mexicans who, in the territories aforesaid, shall not preserve the character of citizens of the Mexican Republic, conformably with what is stipulated in the preceding article, shall be incorporated into the Union of the United States. and be admitted at the proper time (to be judged of by the Congress of the United States) to the enjoyment of all the rights of citizens of the United States, according to the principles of the Constitution; and in the mean time, shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty and property, and secured in the free exercise of their religion without restriction.
The Protocols of Queretaro explain why portions of Article IX were revised in the Treaty. Article IX stated in pertinent part that :
The Mexicans who, in the territories aforesaid, shall not preserve the character of citizens of the Mexican Republic, conformably with what is stipulated in the preceding Article, shall be incorporated into the Union of the United States, and admitted as soon as possible, according to the principles of the Federal Constitution, to the enjoyment of all the rights of citizens of the United States. In the mean time, they shall be maintained and protected in the enjoyment of their liberty, their property, and the civil rights now vested in them according to the Mexican laws. With respect to political rights, their condition shall be on an equality with that of the inhabitants of the other territories of the United States; and at least equally good as that of the inhabitants of Louisiana and the Floridas, when these provinces, by transfer from the French Republic and the Crown of Spain, became territories of the United States.
The Protocols then say that:
The american Government by suppressing the IXth article of the Treaty of Guadalupe and substituting the III article of the Treaty of Louisiana did not intend to diminish in any way what was agreed upon by the aforesaid article IXth in favor of the inhabitants of the territories ceded by Mexico. Its understanding that all of that agreement is contained in the IIId article of tile Treaty of Louisiana. In consequence, all the privileges and guarantees, civil, political and religious, which would have been possessed by the inhabitants of the ceded territories, if the IXth article of the Treaty had been retained, will be enjoyed by them without any difference under the article which has been substituted.
Violations of The Treaty Rights
The story of how Joaquin Murrieta was forced into “banditry” to gain justice is one of the many stories of injustice meted out to Mexicans in spite of the guarantee of their civil and political rights.
When Joaquin Murrieta and his brother were arrested in Murphys, California for robbery, he was tied to a tree next to the jail and brutally beaten. His brother was hanged from the same tree. Joaquin’s wife was dragged out into the middle of the street and gang-raped. He went to the county sheriff to file charges against the mobsters and was informed that in California it was not illegal for whites to rape Mexican women or for whites to kill Mexicans. He was advised to “forgive and forget.”
The theft of Mexican land and its exposure by Reies Lopez Tijerina has been well documented. Tijerina’s causa to restore the land grant rights was recognized and supported by the League of United Latin American Citizens in 1972.
Children were denied their rights to education. In Mendez v. Westminster, 64 F. Supp. 544 (1946) the court wrote:
That for several years last past respondents have and do now in furtherance and in execution of their common plan, design and purpose within their respective Systems and Districts, have by their regulation, custom and usage and in execution thereof adopted and declared: That all children or persons of Mexican or Latin descent or extraction, though Citizens of the United States of America, shall be, have been and are now excluded from attending, using, enjoying and receiving the benefits of the education, health and recreation facilities of certain schools within their respective Districts and Systems but that said children are now and have been segregated and required to and must attend and use certain schools in said Districts and Systems reserved for and attended solely and exclusively by children and persons of Mexican and Latin descent, while such other schools are maintained attended and used exclusively by and for persons and children purportedly known as White or Anglo-Saxon children.
That in execution of said rules and regulations, each, every and all the foregoing children are compelled and required to and must attend and use the schools in said respective Districts reserved for and attended solely and exclusively by children of Mexican and Latin descent and are forbidden, barred and excluded from attending any other school in said District or System solely for the reason that said children or child are of Mexican or Latin descent
These depredations and violations of the Treaty and the Protocols continue today.
In 2004 the City of San Juan Capistrano approved a commercial development over strenuous protest including a sports lot that was constructed over the burial grounds at the Ancient village of Putiidhem, “Mother Village” of the Acjachemen, otherwise known as the “Juaneno” Indian tribe.
Tim and Steph Busch, the developers who benefited from this project, are known racists who were sued by the manager and assistant manager (and other employees of a hotel they owned and operated) for, amongst other things, ordering the firing of all their non-white employees and ordering the firing of all their employees who spoke with an accent, i.e., all immigrants.
The Juaneno tribe of Mission Indians was a Native American tribe recognized by the United States of Mexico during the period of that nation’s sovereignty over what is now the State of California and the City of San Juan Capistrano.
This development was allowed despite the fact that Article VIII of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo guaranteed to the former citizens of the United States of Mexico the right to retain “the property which they possess in the” former territory of Mexico and the Juanenos were only dispossessed of their land by force, discrimination, and harassment in the years following the conquest of their land by the United States of America in spite of the further guarantee of Article VIII that “property of every kind, now belonging to Mexicans not established there, shall be inviolably respected. The present owners, the heirs of these, and all Mexicans who may hereafter acquire said property by contract, shall enjoy with respect to it guarantees equally ample as if the same belonged to citizens of the United States” and in spite of the fact that Article IX of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the First Protocol of Queretaro in conjunction with the rights guaranteed by the United States and California Constitution prohibit the desecration of the religious institutions including sacred burial grounds.
It is possible to recount the depredations and violations of the Treaty and the Protocols in the past and presently ad nauseum. The question is, what is to be done.
Assuming Arguendo that the Immigration
Laws of the United States are even
Enforceable in light of the Constructive
Abrogation of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo &
Protocols of Queretaro, The United States is
In Pari Delicto as a party to any legal
Proceeding Against an “Immigrant” from Mexico
To start, it should be noted that to gain the ratification of the Treaty itself, the United States had to agree to the Protocols. Even with the Protocols in place, it is historically researched and documented that the United States had to bribe Mexican Senators to secure the treaty’s ratification.
In light of the on-going record of violations of the Treaty, minimally, the United States of America has lost all moral force to continue to enforce its provisions. It may have the power to enforce its rights under the treaty while failing to enforce the rights of Mexico and Mexicans under the treaty, but we assert that these breaches constitute constructive abrogation of the treaty and release Mexico and Mexicans from legal and moral obligations to abide by its provisions.
We assert that as a matter of law, that in any proceeding before any court or tribunal, whether state, federal, or international, the United States of America, in charging any Mexican citizen with a violation of immigration statutes of the United States is In Pari Delicto and should be estopped and barred from bringing such an action because the United States of America cannot as a sovereign power maintain that action in good faith.
We Demand that Mexico Invoke
Neutral Arbitration to Settle the
Matter of Immigration Rights of
Its Citizens in Light of the Constructive
Abrogation of the Treaty of Guadalupe
Article XXI of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo provides for neutral arbitration by a third party friendly nation of disputes between the United States of Mexico and the United States of America to resolve disputes between the two nations.
It is demeaning for the government of Mexico to continually go hat in hand to the government of America and beg for the United States to unilaterally use it’s own political institutions to pass laws concerning the matter of immigration. It is the right of the government of Mexico to demand neutral arbitration of the dispute and if the government of Mexico has any cojones at all it will demand the right of the Mexican people under Article XXI for neutral arbitration. Article XXI states:
If unhappily any disagreement should hereafter arise between the Governments of the two republics, whether with respect to the interpretation of any stipulation in this treaty, or with respect to any other particular concerning the political or commercial relations of the two nations, the said Governments, in the name of those nations, do promise to each other that they will endeavour, in the most sincere and earnest manner, to settle the differences so arising, and to preserve the state of peace and friendship in which the two countries are now placing themselves, using, for this end, mutual representations and pacific negotiations. And if, by these means, they should not be enabled to come to an agreement, a resort shall not, on this account, be had to reprisals, aggression, or hostility of any kind, by the one republic against the other, until the Government of that which deems itself aggrieved shall have maturely considered, in the spirit of peace and good neighbourship, whether it would not be better that such difference should be settled by the arbitration of commissioners appointed on each side, or by that of a friendly nation. And should such course be proposed by either party, it shall be acceded to by the other, unless deemed by it altogether incompatible with the nature of the difference, or the circumstances of the case.
We Anticipate American Politicians,
Including Those of Mexican Descent
Will Shrink from their Moral Responsibility
In speaking this truth to power, we anticipate that American politicians, including vendidos and coconuts, will speak in sound bites and call us irresponsible for speaking this truth, la verdad. To them we point to Premier Georges Clemenceau’s statement that “Any man who is not a radical at age 20 has no heart. Any man who is still a radical at age 40 has no head.” They will nod at the “logic” of this statement as though it contains wisdom.
These politicos must be told that no es necesario para cambiar tu corazon para cesos.
Jan B. Tucker, March 17, 2007
Somewhat to my astonishment, El Plan went viral in Mechista circles on the internet. People I’d meet for the first time, especially young Mechistas, would marvel when they found out I was the guy who wrote it. Some people wanted to know why I’d changed my name from “Juan” or whether “Jan” was just a typo, because they couldn’t believe I wasn’t Chicano (if they realized in the first place I was a guy because many others assumed I was a Chicana with an anglicized name).
Anyway, after I left LULAC and was appointed as State Director of the newly formed CALLAC (California League of Latin American Citizens) I began to somewhat hesitantly build my image of CALLAC’s immigration position in the context of overall history and the question of the legitimacy of the border with the United States of Mexico itself. To my delight, my vision was welcomed by the founding leaders of NLLAC who immediately adopted our CALLAC articles of incorporation and initial public leaflet describing our program as templates for other state organizations to follow (I was the first state director appointed and CALLAC became the first incorporated state affiliate of NLLAC). That program explicitly was formulated as including:
Recognition of the need to redress grievances of the special status of Mexicans and people of Mexican origin in the context of the conquest of Mexican territory in an unjust war, the unlawful ethnic cleansing of 2 million people including 1.2 million United States citizens in the 1930s, and continual US interference in the internal affairs of Mexico
Recognition and respect for the rights of indigenous Native Americans in the context of their conquest, de facto attempted genocide and negotiated peace treaties.
Politicians, including incumbents, that we have endorsed through our alliance in the Same Page/Misma Pagina Coalition, have been required to respond to issues involved in those principles in their written questionnaire responses. For them, that process has been educational and their responses have been reasonable and respectful concerning our position—in fact far more respectful than I ever imagined I would ever see. Interestingly, Anglo politicians have had more intelligent responses than some so-called Latino or Chicano politicians, in part because I think they have more respect for the views of immigrant constituents whether or not they can vote. All too often, Chicano politicians behave as though they are the old PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional) who can exercise the dedazo to choose which of their cronies will inherit their seats and what their supporters are supposed to believe and espouse.
Even more interesting, whenever I have discussed the issues with Mexican diplomats, they have agreed with me without qualification that Article XXI of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo should be invoked to deal with not only immigration but with the underlying question of the legitimacy of the border.
NLLAC has become an independent and uncompromising voice for a radical viewpoint in the debate over “immigration,” and if you think I’m kidding, check out our press release that was approved by and at the highest level of the organizational leadership: http://janbtucker.com/blog/2013/01/28/3201/
We reiterated our issues with regard to demanding invocation of Article XXI of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo to deal with all issues historically and currently that impact the debate over immigration on both sides of the de facto border. Let the liberals and the reformers debate differing views of how American unilateralism should be carried out in the immigration debate. Let so-called radicals prate their slogans of “open border,” whether or not anybody in Mexico wants or would be willing to accept such a state of affairs without a complete questioning of the legitimacy of the border itself. The bottom line is, as Heywood Campbell Broun once wrote, “A liberal is one who leaves the room when the fight begins.”