Where’s My Immigration Prediction Model?

    If scientists can make climate prediction models that are reliable (or so they tell us), why can’t they do the same with Muslim immigration predictions?

    Predicting the average temperature on Earth ten years from now is hard. There are too many variables. But predicting the outcome of immigration policies probably involves far fewer variables. All we need to do is look at other countries that experienced lots of Muslim immigration and subtract out the countries that reversed the trend with military force, because I assume we wouldn’t see any of that in the United States, especially if the immigrants are legal. 

    A good immigration prediction model would find the “tipping point” where the percentage of Islamic population nearly guarantees the entire country will become Muslim in the long run. Is that 10% or 65%? I have no idea.

    Islam is the world’s fastest-growing religion. Birth rates are high, followers are motivated, and the system is hard to leave once you are in it. If any country in the world allowed unlimited immigration forever, that country would likely become Islamic in the long run, although it might take a few hundred years. But no country allows unlimited immigration, so that isn’t a realistic scenario.

    A realistic scenario is what the United States and much of Europe are experiencing. We have to decide the rate and type of immigration that will be good for the country. But if we don’t know where the tipping point is, how can we make informed decisions?

    My provocative thought for today is that the pro-immigration people and the anti-immigration people are actually on the same side and don’t know it because no one has made an immigration prediction model. For this claim, I will exclude the extremes on both sides, so subtract out the true open-border globalist on the left and the pure racists on the right. We’ll focus on the sensible middle that wants some degree of immigration while maintaining the good parts of the existing culture. But how does either side decide how much is the right amount of Muslim immigration, and how much is too much? Where’s my immigration prediction model?

    Suppose I said to you that 20% Islamic population will guarantee that eventually – perhaps in a hundred years or more – the country will have a dominant Islamic culture, with all that implies for women and the LGBTQ community.

    I don’t know if having 20% Muslim citizens is anywhere near the tipping point. But consider that gays represent perhaps 10% of the country, and that was enough to change laws. Consider that the United States is strongly pro-Israel while the Jewish population of the United States is under 2%. The size of the minority seems less important than their level of motivation. Muslims appear to be motivated.

    The weird thing about the immigration issue is that the only people with coherent opinions are the ones on the extremes. The racists on the right are repugnant, but their opinions are coherent, given their preferences and priorities. Likewise, the open-border globalists have an approach that you might find impractical and dangerous, but it is a coherent philosophy, and easy to understand.

    The people who don’t have coherent opinions on Muslim immigration are the so-called reasonable people in the middle. It is nonsense to argue about whether our Muslim immigration policies are good or bad without the benefit of knowing where the tipping point is, if such a thing even exists. My guess is that the pro-immigration people and the anti-immigration people would agree we shouldn’t go past the tipping point. But if neither side knows where the tipping point is, you can’t call the opinion on either side sensible.

    So that’s where we are on this issue: The extremists on both sides are repugnant and/or stupid. But they are the only ones with policy preferences that are rational – based on their priorities of course, not yours. The so-called sensible people in the middle (including me) have opinions that are effectively nonsense because we don’t know where the tipping point is.

    You might enjoy reading my book because of your tipping point.

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Working on the White Guy Brand

    By an accident of birth, I fall into the White Guy category. To keep this on a positive note, let’s call it my brand. And that means that if other people with my outward characteristics do dumb-ass things, it reflects on my brand. 

    One of the dumb-ass things my people have been doing lately is asking – or expecting – the peace-loving Muslim citizens in America to do a better job of watching out for radicalized folks in their midst. Trump is the one who said it aloud, but it was a common thought. On one level, that sounds reasonable because we’re all in the same fight – or should be – to keep the homeland safe. But there is a bit of an implied threat to our expectations of Muslim self-inspection. Everyone understands – without saying it aloud – that if American Muslims allow their brand to slip, it means more racism, more potential for violence, and other bad outcomes. 

    But how realistic is it to put expectations on other brands? If some stranger with a penis and no tan shoots someone on the other side of the country, was that sort of my fault because I am also pale and male? What the hell was I supposed to do?

    In personal relationships, I find it useful to drop expectations of others and work on my own brand because that’s the part I can control. So instead of bitching about my expectation of strangers, I thought I would approach it from the position of strengthening my own brand.

    But how?

    So here’s my offer. If you are a Muslim, and in the country legally, and you live in my town (Pleasanton CA), send me a FaceBook request. I’ll be your White Guy friend, at least online. I’ll take the first request I get. I can’t do more than that because of time.

    We don’t have to get together in real life or pretend to be real friends. This is purely for your protection. And here’s how it works.

    If you find yourself the victim of racism or bullying from anyone in my brand (White Guys) just let me know. I’ll contact the bully personally and have a talk about improving my brand. If I have to, I’ll drive to his house and ring the doorbell.

    I’m not about violence, so don’t worry about that. I’m about my brand. And while I can’t do much about other people’s actions, I can take responsibility for my own. I can do this one, small thing.

    The reason Michael Moore’s “We are all Muslims” meme failed is because it violates our identity and tries to make a case by analogy. That never works in the world of persuasion. But the High Ground Maneuver always works. In this case, the high ground involves working on your own brand. 

    I also won’t ask any other White Guys to make a similar offer. They can make their own decisions. 

    The bigger brand is obviously America, and it works best if the sub-brands keep that in mind and work toward it. My offer today feels compatible with the American brand. Let me know if you disagree.

    I wrote a book about systems being better than goals. People say it changed their lives. I hope they mean it in a good way. Today’s post can be seen as a system and not a goal.