Friday, July 20, 2007

Mac Magruder Supersizes Ignorance in the Illegal Immigration Debate

Mac Magruder, prominent Arizona businessman and owner of several MacDonald’s franchises, appeared on NPR radio on July 6th, 2007, in an attempt to support his position against Arizona’s new law that toughens employer penalties for knowingly hiring illegal workers.

It is painful to hear Mac Magruder fumble and flail has he tries to make his points (listen for yourself- ) If I may summarize, Mac says that this law is bad because
  • The verification pilot program mentioned in the law is flawed—because Mac says so.

  • If the dictates of the law are followed to the letter and even-handedly applied to every applicant, that’s profiling. (This comment does not make sense in any language.)

  • It is un-Constitutional now because if we change the law, it will then be unfair. (Um…excuse me?)

  • The Governor knew the law was un-Constitutional when she signed it because it usurps Federal jurisdiction. (State Business licensing usurps Federal Law?)

  • No business is knowingly hiring Illegal workers. (He actually said that.)

  • Businesses that are hiring illegal worker deserve to be punished. (But, didn’t he just say that…Oh, never mind.)

  • People and jobs will flee the state. (Perhaps only the illegal ones will flee.)

  • We have entrapped all of the illegal workers by offering them jobs. (If they are entrapped, how can they flee?)

  • It’s really a racial issue—because Mac says so. (Forget all that “rule of law” mumbo jumbo.)

  • “Most of the people we are talking about are brothers and sisters down South; that are hard-working, wonderful people…they came here to build a better life….” (Since no one is hiring an illegal worker, who do you think Mac is talking about?)

  • The economic benefits of illegal workers far outweigh some of costs people are associating with our “friends coming from Mexico.” (Where do I begin? Outweigh some of the costs?

  • The economic benefits of who, exactly…since there are no businesses hiring illegal workers? Mac thinks all the illegal workers come from Mexico?)

It seems that Mr. Magruder cannot decide which argument to use, so he is trying them all on for size—supporting none of them effectively—and contradicting himself most of the time in the process. Mac has followed up his performance on NPR with several additional interviews on radio and in print that have added only consistency to his comments—but not quality. His thoughts are ill-informed and poorly presented, and so they remain unsatisfying on every level.

It is fitting and a touch ironic that Mac Magruder is in the business of fast-food—because, like the products he sells, his thoughts are over-cooked and quickly thrown together in a way that is not really good for any of us. How can one man, ostensibly a successful and savvy business leader, twist so much double-speak, ad hominem, and non-sequitur into a four-minute interview? Doesn’t he know that this is what we have Senators for? On the plus side, if this burger restaurant deal doesn’t pan out in the long run, he appears to be honing his skills for a career in liberal race-baiting. But I digress.

Big Mac is serving up a super-sized helping of self-serving sophistry with a side order of unpleasantness that will carry a price for Arizona far beyond the limits of any Value Menu. He is harming our wonderful state and its citizens of every configuration by degrading the valid arguments of his opposition and dragging honest dissenters through the grease-trap so that we all come out sticky and smelling bad. This technique failed when the Senate tried it, it failed again when President Bush tried it—it will fail now as well.

If the quality of one’s position is truly to be judged by the quality of one’s argument, then Business leaders like Mac Magruder and pro-illegal politicians have very weak positions indeed. I challenge “Wake Up Arizona” to stand legitimately on the field of ideas and present their case without the quick-fried fluff. I await their reply. Mr. Magruder, I suggest to you that Arizona has already “woken up” and that is precisely what is causing you so much angst.

Be well,

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