Ann Coulter credits Peter Brimelow’s famous essay published in National Review in 1992 with delivering the blinding revelation that opened her eyes to the social and political crisis precipitated by the Establishment’s immigration policies since 1965. Having been rudely knocked off her horse, Miss Coulter has been hurling thunderbolts of her own all the way to Damascus (and back again). Her book is actually a tornado, a cyclone, a typhoon, a tsunami, and a 10.0 earthquake merged into one apocalyptic megastorm.
At the insistence of Sen. Edward Kennedy, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 encouraged virtually unlimited immigration from the Third World, while reducing the number of immigrants from Northern and Western Europe to something less than a trickle. According to Miss Coulter, the United States today accepts
more [immigrants] from India than from Canada and Great Britain combined. We take more immigrants from India than from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, and the Czech Republic put together.
As the author of a book on immigration myself, I suspect ¡Adios, America! has a chance to be the most politically galvanizing work on the subject published in the last 30 years—assuming it isn’t cold-shouldered to death by the media, a very large assumption indeed. Coulter’s book is a stellar example of an honest writer and a patriot “committing journalism that reflects poorly on Third World immigrants,” as she herself describes it. Actually, at the most profound level, the subject of this book is not immigration at all but the liberal mind and how it works (or doesn’t), and how liberals argue—the subject also of William Buckley’s Up From Liberalism in the 60’s and virtually everything Joe Sobran ever wrote.
¡Adios, America! is very easy to read, and very difficult to review. Because every other sentence is almost irresistibly quotable, the temptation to let quotations do the reviewer’s work for him is very great. Also, the structure of the book is essentially a series of shocking, frequently appalling, case studies Coulter has mined from contemporary American journalistic and other archives in the course of her dauntingly thorough research (the text of ¡Adios, America! ends on page 280; the final 112 pages are notes), all of them pointing up the theme she is developing within the chapters and subchapters and to her final conclusion, which I summarize as follows: We don’t need the relatively few good immigrants we receive nearly as badly as we don’t need the bad ones. (P.S.: We really don’t need any immigrants at all, and only the worst among us want them.)
Coulter’s technique is to roll out her archival nuggets like dice, while inserting her own slashing commentary along the way. Her chief rhetorical weapon is sarcasm, which in less accomplished hands risks becoming snide. In this case, sarcasm is rescued from snideness by wit and an uproarious sense of humor that, despite the genuine anger behind it, is fundamentally good-natured, and never silly. The opposite of “funny,” Chesterton said, is not “serious”; it’s “not funny.” Chesterton’s formula applies exactly to ¡Adios, America!
Ann Coulter calls immigration the paramount issue for America today—and indeed, for decades past. If we lose the battle against immigration, we lose everything else along with it, the country and all that is therein. She wants a total moratorium on immigration, a shutdown of the “billion dollar fraudulent immigration industry,” including the part of it responsible for asylum (the federal government recognizes 92 percent of applications, she claims), and “every last special pleader [for immigrants and immigration] out of the business.” As a result of massive immigration from the Third World, all kinds of barbarians and barbarian cultures are being welcomed to the United States and rooting themselves here, while traditional American institutions are being challenged and undermined. All this to no benefit to Americans excepting the One Percent, the big corporations—including the tech industry—and agribusiness who lobby Washington for cheap labor, and the Democratic Party. (“Bring in new voters. Okay, fine. You won’t vote for us, America? We tried the easy way, but you give us no choice. We’re going to overwhelm you with new voters from the Third World.”) Why do the 99 percent allow this to happen? “Americans love to mock the French for rolling over for Hitler. But at least they had Panzers rolling through Paris.” Because Mexicans account for such a large percentage of immigrants to the United States—more than one quarter of the Mexican population has resettled here; the United States has more Hispanics than any other country besides Mexico—Coulter tends to emphasize Mexican immigration across the Rio Grande above immigration from elsewhere. For that reason I kept expecting her to make an argument she ended by never making, which is that the Reconquista out of Mexico is really the Reconquista of America by the Native American populations Americans thought they had vanquished once and for all more than a century ago. (If she hasn’t made that point elsewhere, she’s welcome to it. It needs to be made, and made often. The same goes for Donald Trump, who, assuming he ever heard of Chesterton, could take consolation in this difficult period from GKC’s maxim about getting yourself in hot water: “It keeps you clean.”)
Peter Brimelow, after reading ¡Adios America! in typescript, objected that “everybody knows” the material in Chapters 1-6, and recommended to Coulter that she begin with Chapter 7 (“Immigrants and Crime: Why Do You Ask?”), page 99. She quite properly objected that “everybody” is not familiar with the early stuff (thanks to the media blackout on the subject) and that, anyway, the six chapters were necessary to the architecture and the rhetorical structure of her book. Readers of this magazine are very likely acquainted, 26 years after Chronicles published its infamous number dealing with the immigration crisis in March 1989, with many of Ann Coulter’s arguments. What they will probably not have seen, and what was new to Brimelow and certainly to myself, is to be found in her chapters on immigrants and crime, immigrants and fraud, the widespread sexual criminality and moral depravity of immigrant populations in this country, and (most shocking of all) the deviousness and dishonesty of the American media in avoiding and disguising these matters in their “reportage” by means of omissions, red herrings, and other devices—all to avoid the sin of “committing journalism that reflects poorly on Third World immigrants” that might encourage a nativist “backlash,” immigrant “bashing,” and a redneck revolt against the multiculturalist project generally.
Anyone who thinks he is intellectually and politically abreast of America’s immigration catastrophe needs to read this book. Once in a blue moon a literary reviewer feels the urge to burst forth with the enthusiastic cant phrases readily available to any reviewer of bad fiction for the evening tabloids. In the case of ¡Adios, America!, I just can’t help myself.
[¡Adios, America!: The Left’s Plan to Turn Our Country Into a Third World Hellhole, by Ann Coulter (Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing) 392 pp., $27.99]