at the same time when large-scale migrations have begun.nTo believe that the United States, because of some divinendispensation, or in virtue of the abundance of automobilesnand color television sets available to its population, is or willnbe immune to those dangers of centrifugal crumbling thatnnow beset the Russian Empire, is not only thoughtless butnirresponsible. These present and future dangers include notnonly tribal savagery and domestic disorders but the potentialndisruption of the very framework of the Republic.nThat is the prime matter of American national security:nnot whether Americans should or should not supportnAfghans or Azerbaijanis or Bessarabians or Nicaraguans ornHonduran “Freedom Fighters”; nor, as Section Nine of thenplatform of the Republican Party as early as 1956 (!) stated,nthat our aim should be “the establishment of Americannnaval and air bases all around the world.” The italics arenmine. <^nAWRENCE A. UZZELLnohn M. Olin Media Fellow,nioover InstitutionnLast fall San Franciscans voted on whether to providenbenefits for the unmarried lovers of city employees,nincluding homosexuals. To the horror of the gay-rightsnestablishment, the referendum narrowly lost. The marginnalmost certainly came from the “no” votes of Asian-nAmerican and Mexican-American immigrants.nOpponents of mass immigration may have the wrongnanswer, but they ask the right question. Do immigrantsnfurther poison our already sick culture? If so we should keepnthem out, no matter how much they may help ourneconomy. But if they bring antidotes to our homegrownndecadence, we should welcome them.nConsider the attack on the family — perhaps the gravestncurrent threat to our heritage, backed by most of the Fortunen500 as well as the media and government. Who providesnmore recruits to feminism: Latin and Confucian newcomers,nor native suburbanites? Who signs up for the NationalnOrganization of Women, who demands value-free sexneducation and round-the-clock daycare centers?nVietnamese-American students rebuke their classmatesnfor their rudeness to teachers. Refugees from Afghanistann16/CHRONICLESnnnrefuse to enroll their children in coed gym classes. Mexican-nAmericans stubbornly honor Our Lady of Guadalupe, notnFrosty the Snowman. We need more such citizens, notnfewer.nThe strongest point against immigrants is that they arenstrangers to the Anglo-American constitutional tradition.nTrue, this tradition cannot be learned overnight—but itndoesn’t have to be. First-generation immigrants are too busynfor politics; what counts is their children and grandchildren,nup for grabs like everyone else in our untidy ideologicalnmarketplace. Over time. South European ethnics such asnAntonin Scalia may do as much to restore our Constitutionnas the WASP Abraham Lincoln or the Scandinavian EarlnWarren did to destroy it.nIt is the converts to a tradition who bring the mostnimagination and vigor to its defense. Consider the Disraelinfamily. Consider the post-World War II conservative revivalnin America, the leadership of which came disproportionatelynfrom Catholic immigrant stock. If my fellow WSPs hadnremained in charge as in the I930’s, we would probablynnever have stopped losing.nA tradition especially needs newcomers to stir things upnwhen it is so decayed that the challenge is not to conservenbut to restore. The works of immigrant scholars such as EricnVoegelin or Leo Strauss may be flawed, but our universitiesnwould be even more impoverished without them. Voegelinnand Strauss, of course, are far removed from the streets ofnSpanish Hadem. Visits to such places make me wondernwhether their residents will ever be “citizens” in any sensenrecognizable to James Madison. But I recall that mynancestors had similar worries about another swarm of Latinnnewcomers: the Italians.nThe arguments against Hispanic immigradon todaynseemed just as plausible against Italians around 1900. MostnItalian-Americans came not from the region of Dante butnfrom the backward, anti-republican south. They were morenlikely than any other immigrants of that era to stay here onlyntemporarily: in some years as many as seven returned to Italynfor every ten who arrived in America. They hated formalneducation, and did their best to avoid not only our secularnpublic schools but our Irish-controlled Catholic schools.nItalian-Americans scored as low on IQ tests then as blacks dontoday. Their average family income was even lower than thenblacks’ — at the height of Jim Crow. Many of our grandparentsnthought that they must be innately inferior. Irish-nAmerican priests were known to call them “dagoes” innpublic; one said that “Italians are not a sensitive people likenour own.”nBut these “inferior” newcomers were to move into thenmainstream with dizzying speed, partly because they concentratednon work, not politics. They often providednvaluable services as strikebreakers. Doubts about theirnnational loyalties proved groundless; in 1943 Italian-Americannsoldiers enthusiastically invaded their ancestral homeland.nBy the 1960’s, Italian-Americans had larger familynincomes than WSPs or German-Americans.nOnce they did get involved in politics, Italian-Americansnresisted welfare-state bribery and ethnic-bloc voting. Forndecades. Republican politics in parts of New York andnConnecticut has largely been a contest between liberalnWASPs and conservative Italians. In 1984 Geraldine Ferraron