Book Review: First the Minutemen, then the Tea Party

Minutemen: The Battle to Secure America’s Borders
by Jim Gilchrist and Jerome Corsi
World Ahead Publishers, 2006; 375 pages HB, $25.95

For decades, well-funded organizations fought to put the illegal immigration issue on the front burner. Yet, it was Jim Gilchrist and his Minuteman Project that finally put the illegal alien invasion in the headlines of newspapers and cable new shows—and kept it there. —Linda Muller

Linda Muller and her husband Nathan, veteran grass roots activists, best represent a powerful undercurrent in American politics—a couple who personify what the late pundit Sam Francis called Middle American Radicals: “a new paradigm in American politics—that is essentially nationalist rather than right or left as we have historically known these labels. Immigration, trade, sovereignty, and cultural issues all revolve around national identity, and the new shape of politics in the future will see the emergence of a new nationalism—that will demand these issues be addressed.”

Jim Gilchrist founded the Minutemen Project in 2004, and describes his volunteer army of Middle American Radicals as mined from “the motherload of patriotism,” who “are prepared to take to the field once again, every bit as much as the original Minuteman patriots did in 1775.” Juxtaposed between the rants of cynical shock jocks and the insipid speeches of politically correct politicians, the old-fashioned nationalism of the Minutemen can seem radical.

But due largely to the illegal alien crisis, these are indeed radical times. According to Gilchrist and his co-author Jerome Corsi (who also co-authored the best-selling “Unfit for Command,” which helped derail John Kerry’s presidential ambitions):

● “[T]he number of illegal aliens entering the United States [is] over ten thousand per day,” an invasion “equivalent of four army divisions” per week.

● “Florida has a state tax net cost of more than $1 billion to provide social services to illegal aliens.” California may be spending “somewhere in the range of $60 billion annually.”

● “According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, 65 percent of all methamphetamine consumed in the United States now comes from Mexican drug cartels: 53 percent from superlabs in Mexico itself, and 12 percent from Mexican-run superlabs within the U.S.”

● “[T]he smuggling of human cargo has become Mexico’s third-most lucrative illegal activity, topped only by narco-trafficking and commerce in stolen automobiles.”

Gilchrist and Corsi capture the spirit of the revolt against the ruling elites in such chapters as “The 21st Century Slave Trade: ‘The Guest Worker’ Amnesty” and “The Mess in Mexico: Poverty, Oil, NAFTA, and the Threat to American Sovereignty,” as well as with such common sense commentary as “Greed is a factor that must be taken into consideration in order to understand the pull that illegal immigrants are exerting upon the United States.”

The story of the grass roots uprising against the government’s open borders immigration policy is bigger than this book. Linda Muller observes,

“There are tens of thousands of Minutemen across the USA, many affiliated with the Minuteman Project, while others are independent organizations—all of them got their start thanks to the vision of Jim Gilchrist.”

Jim Gilchrist is an interesting “provocateur” in the best meaning of the word. After running away from home at age 17 to volunteer for combat duty in Vietnam (where he earned a Purple Heart decoration), he went on to earn a B.A. in newspaper journalism, a B.S. in business administration, and an MBA in taxation. He is a former newspaper reporter and a retired California Certified Public Accountant.

In 2005, when the California Democratic and Republican parties did not nominate candidates who understood the depth and breadth of the immigration issue, he ran as a third party candidate for Congress in a special election and earned 25 percent of the vote. Gilchrist writes, “[T]he president and most members of the U.S. Senate are wrong and, frankly, criminally incompetent on this issue [of illegal immigration].” This Middle American Radical also notes:

“When it takes some average Joe Citizen like me, who comes out of some remote suburb like Aliso Viejo, California to bring national awareness to this crisis, there is something incompetent or corrupt within your government.”

There are probably other books that outline the statistics and explain the profundity of America’s culture war better than Jim Gilchrist’s book (NB: “Code Red,” Kevin Lamb’s review of “State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America” by Pat Buchanan [ The Social Contract, Fall, 2006] and “Multiculturalism and Mass Immigration,” Mark Wegierski’s review of “Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt” by Paul Gottfried [ The Social Contract, Winter 2002]).

However, the strength of “Minutemen: The Battle to Secure America’s Borders” lies in the personal observations and dispatches from front lines that Gilchrist and Corsi present. “The Minuteman Project Begins” chapter, and especially the one devoted to the brutal murder of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy David March, make compelling reading.
Nathan Muller, Linda’s partner (the duo are also web masters for Pat Buchanan’s blog, www.buchanan.org) sums up the Minuteman phenomenon in plain political terms:

“While elected officials are eager to put immigration reform behind them, they face the wrath of constituents—which so far has prevented such follies as amnesty, ‘guest worker’ programs, and ‘earned citizenship’ from being brought up for a vote. The Minuteman movement is largely responsible for this educational effort, and it is the main reason why Congress has not been able to send President Bush a so-called ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ bill for his signature. Simply put, the Minuteman movement is not just a speed bump—it’s the main roadblock.”

A wise warning for the stampede of candidates already racing for the White House: “Minutemen: The Battle to Secure America’s Borders” is worthwhile reading for those who want to win.


This article fist appeared in the Spring, 2007 issue of The Social Contract

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