Right on schedule, Trump actually went.  I’m at least a little surprised.  So now that it’s actually over, let’s look back a bit at the Trump regime, and then take a look at what’s to come.

I will give credit where credit is due. Much as Obama had 3 1/2 good things in his 8 years (rapprochement with Iran and Cuba, having the DOJ prosecute corrupt cops, and being around when the Supreme Court handed down Obergfell), Trump had, by my reckoning, 1 and 2 small fractions good things. The tax code is slightly simpler for a lot of people. There was a bit of rapprochement with North Korea. And, though it probably pained him to tell the truth about something as much as it pains me to admit it, Trump was more or less right when he said he started no new wars. This makes him the first US president since Warren G. Harding not to do so-and before that it was Grover Cleveland.

And the fact that this is actually a major, not-in-a-century accomplishment says a lot about just how far we’ve fallen.

Now let’s look at the awful. While not a completely comprehensive list, some of the especially egregious lowlights include, in no particular order…

Worst president ever? Eh. As I’ve said before, we still have Wilson and Jackson in our history, so maybe not. But Donald J. Trump, you were still complete shit who did a lot of things that ranged from awful to outright evil. You will not be missed, please let the door hit you upside the head on your way out, and I hope against hope that you were the one that was finally egregious enough to convince a Senate or a jury to convict your sorry ass and set a precedent of accountability for all of your successors.
@#^! you, and good @#6!ing riddance.

So with Trump actually out of the way, how about the new boss?  I hope I’m wrong about Biden. I hope he decides not to be a warmongering jackass with a cop sidekick. I hope his immigration proposal goes through. I hope he backs off/forgets about/gives it up in exchange for money to prosecute corrupt cops/is defeated in court his gun control plan. I hope he ends the trade war. I hope he ends the drug war. I hope having a president that only votes for racist legislation and says racist things on occasion improves things over someone who signs racist legislation and says racist things every day. I hope he magically decides to tear down the insane system of subsidies, bailouts, and other corporate welfare that strangles our populace. I hope that talking to other countries in complete sentences again might increase the chance of peace in the world and reduce the US’s elected class’ appetite for war. I hope that maybe someone will be able to sneak pardons for the most important whistleblowers of our age past him. I hope that someone around him will say something to the effect of “Hey! 27 trillion in debt is kind of a bad idea!”.

I had similar hopes for Obama too. But much like Obama’s record made me very skeptical about the reality to come (and I was essentially 100% right), Biden’s record does not inspire.

Sure, @#^! Trump, I’m glad he’s gone, and I’m glad peaceful transfer of power is still a thing around here. But expecting much different from Biden where it counts? I’m not holding my breath.

Thankfully, after a bit of arguing about it in the early 00s, libertarians seem to have come back around to a pro-immigration, more or less open borders consensus, assuming minarchy rather than ancapistan.  Why, you might ask?  Because immigration both satisfies important parts of our principles, and produces dramatic net benefits economically, and because immigration enforcement produces a horrible human cost.  It is a win-win, or a complete lose.  Let’s look at these in some detail-

First, the practical effects of immigration.  A quick google search reveals a multitude of studies on the economic effects of immigration, from groups across the ideological spectrum ranging from the Cato Institute  to the Center For American Progress, and almost all of them agree that even with our welfare state factored in, immigrants are a net benefit to the United States economy.  And since it factored into the Brexit debate, I also looked up the impact of immigration in the UK, which has a much bigger welfare state than ours.  Turns out that most studies agree that immigration has a positive impact on their economy too.  Moreover, immigrants start businesses at much higher rates than native born Americans, providing more jobs, more value, and more prosperity for the entire country.  Immigrants are also, contra Trump and his ilk, less likely to commit crimes than native born.  And, just in case anyone tries to pull the Islamic terrorism scare canard, I always love to point out Dearborn, MI, which has the highest percentage of Arabic immigrants in the United States…and a crime rate that’s actually a bit less than cities of its size

Beyond the statistics, what about the contribution of immigrants to our country?  What about the inventions from immigrants, ranging from the telephone to rechargeable batteries?  What about the music and entertainment, from Neil Young and Rush to Idris Elba and Salma Hayek?  And what about the food?  If you eat in America, thank an immigrant.

Second, there’s the effects of immigration enforcement in the modern era.  Our immigration system is byzantine, overregulated, and takes an astoundingly long time to get anything doneHundreds of people die  trying to cross the border every year, all for the “crime” of wanting to work.  Children who came here at a young age often face deportation to countries they never knew.  Native people are separated from their families and from sacred events.  And most publicly there’s the way that children are pulled from their families…resulting in some separations that might be permanent.  Beyond the human cost, there’s also the immense environmental destruction that building a full border wall would cause, and the bill for it all.

And let’s not even look at how US intervention, such as in Latin America and the Middle East, created so many refugee crises in the first place.

Where’s the morality in any of that?

Some will respond that sovereign states have the authority to regulate their borders, and, again assuming minarchy for a moment, I agree.  However just because someone or some entity has power doesn’t mean they need to wield it.  The United States did just fine without any immigration restrictions for the first 120 or so years of its existence, until the Chinese Exclusion Act-which by its very name should be obvious that it was racist as hell.  And every immigration law since has been tinged with that racism, that fear of the unknown, the fear that the foreigners will take our jobs and destroy our country…when the history doesn’t support it at all.

Finally, as valuable as the arguments from data, hunger, and humanity are, there’s the arguments from principle, which in my view are far more important.  As Ron Paul said, any wall that can be used to keep people out can also be used to keep people in.  That should be terrifying in any time, but especially in the current moment, when the United States government has become much more brazen about waging war on its own people, we should all be suspicious of any effort to pen us in. 

Most importantly of all though is this:  free people should be allowed to move freely, and free people have nothing to fear from new people and new ideas.

Open the borders.  Bring on the next wave of what’s truly made America great.