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A Convenient Crisis

Too many politicians would rather slay mythical beasts than tackle real-world problems.

You’ve heard of Jay Inslee, right? Relax, I’m just kidding. Chances are, unless you’re from the state of Washington where Inslee is governor, you’ve probably never heard of him—and even for those who live there, I’d venture that his name recognition lies somewhere between the drummers from Spinal Tap and the guy who invented Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. At any rate, he’s running for President, and as relative unknowns who are running for President are wont to do, he recently appeared on MSNBC to discuss all the wonderful things he’d do in the unlikely event he won the White House.

Since illegal immigration is the issue du jour, Inslee’s hosts asked him exactly how he would handle the current crisis at America’s southern border. And here’s what he had to say:

Now, reasonable people might be tempted to ask, “But Jay—what does climate change have to do with hundreds of thousands of migrants swarming the border and trying to sneak into the country?” MSNBC, on the other hand, evidently didn’t think the idea was so far out there, as they had stock footage of melting glaciers and smokestacks belching filth into the sky at the ready to illustrate Inslee’s point. I guess leftist minds really do all think alike, don’t they?

Still, connecting climate change to a massive influx of illegal immigration does seem like a bit of a stretch—especially when you ignore the perverse incentives created by the political class in this country that basically roll out the welcome mat to anyone and everyone who shows up at the border and asks for asylum. That’s because the migrants—not to mention the drug cartels who make billions off of smuggling them across Mexico—aren’t stupid. They know that our system is overwhelmed beyond capacity, and that chances are good that instead of being turned away, they’ll eventually get released into the United States and given a date for an asylum hearing to which they have zero intention of showing up. They also know that their odds get even better if they arrive with children in tow—which is why they drag minors along for the dangerous trek, whether or not they happen to be actual relatives, during which two-thirds of the girls will suffer sexual assault.

Inslee, however, would rather tell MSNBC’s viewers that a .02 degree Celsius rise in the temperature down in Guatemala is responsible—and he’s just the guy to fix it.

Honestly, I don’t blame him for going down that road. Truth is, politicians on both sides of the aisle resort to this kind of cop-out all the time, and for a very simple reason: They’ve realized that it’s far easier to “tackle” issues that don’t really exist rather than do the hard—and more politically dangerous—work of actually solving problems. You see, as Nigel Lawson once said, to govern is to choose—and when you choose, you inevitably make someone mad. Better to just blather on about some non-sequitir that rallies your supporters and rakes in the campaign dollars than go about the toil of governing.

If this seems like a familiar page from the political playbook, that’s because it is. Ever wonder why certain candidates would have you believe there’s a rising tide of white supremacy sweeping across the country, when in reality the violence they commit barely registers a blip on the statistical radar? Because those same candidates would rather not talk about how cities like Chicago have more murders per year than New York and Los Angeles combined. As for Jay Inslee, what do you think makes for a better sound bite: Rising temperatures in Central America, or the skyrocketing rate of homelessness in his home state of Washington?

Seems like a no-brainer to me.

Unfortunately, this has the side-effect of making sure the nation faces the same old problems, year in and year out—but then again, that serves its own purpose too. What would the pols have left to run on if they actually solved anything of consequence?

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