Drawbridge Mentality

While searching the internet for things to put on my Drawbridge Lovers Facebook page (Join us!) I came across the term drawbridge mentality. Imagine my disgust as a bridgetender when I learned that it was an insult. Basically, someone with a drawbridge mentality moves to a community, and then does his level best to prevent anyone else from moving there, or from developing the area in any way. The implication is extreme selfishness and a feeling of, “I deserve this, but you don’t.”

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If that isn’t the immigration issue in a nutshell, I don’t know what is. As a second generation American, I have always felt rather uncomfortable with the idea that our borders should be closed. If that attitude had prevailed prior to WWII, I wouldn’t exist. And if I lived in a third world country, I’d move heaven and earth to try to give myself a chance at a better life, legally or illegally, so who am I to judge?

Without Immigration, we wouldn’t have:

  • John Lennon
  • Paul McCartney
  • Albert Einstein
  • Irving Berlin
  • Mother Jones
  • Sanjay Gupta
  • Levi Strauss
  • Igor Stravinsky
  • Bob Hope
  • Amy Tan
  • George Takei
  • Deepak Chopra
  • Rita Moreno
  • Cesar Chavez
  • Tito Puente
  • Andrew Carnegie
  • John J. Audubon
  • Liz Claiborne
  • Omar Sharif
  • Mario Andretti
  • Yo-Yo Ma
  • Ansel Adams
  • Sidney Poitier
  • Michelle Kwan
  • Michael J. Fox

All of these people either came to this country or were born of parents who did, and we are much a much better country for having them.

If you repair to your castle and raise the drawbridge, put alligators in your moat and lay in a steady supply of boiling oil, what you do is deprive yourself of invention, culture, wisdom, art, innovation, health and new ideas. The minute that drawbridge goes up, you begin to stagnate, to rot from the inside. That does not sound like an attractive option to me.

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