|Thomas Paine, early American colonialist and author of Common Sense|
Immigration has become one of the major areas of disagreement among the various factions involved in debating what to do about undocumented workers or those who have entered the United States illegally. When folks criticize the government's action, or inaction, often the phrase, "love it or leave it" is used to challenge one's opponent, but is it effective in consolidating one's argument?
"If you don't like it, why don't you just leave,"is what some folks say to cement an argument about a political position. It does, however, counter the American framework of the country as well as scientific principles, because it is in finding our mistakes, we learn and grow the most.
His arguments, his references to his disappointments and disagreements with how England ruled its colonies, and what should be American rights, became the beacon of the best of political argument in US history. "Love it or leave it" counters Paine'sCommon Sense presentations and the fabric of debate.
This "love it or leave it" , coined originally by the famous media pundit Winchell, is often used by the conservative right when losing an argument or when there is nothing to say. This occurred during debates over the war in Vietnam, civil rights, Obama's election and the recent election as well. It provides a smokescreen the person uses to shut off the opposition as an outsider unworthy to even be allowed to stay in the country.
Indeed "just move if you don't like it" is a paraphrase, and a way of removing opposition, when one is uncomfortable and worries he or she might have to face the facts of being wrong or even being right but still not knowing the arguments to defend them properly. When it becomes its most insidious, however, is when it is used for scapegoating and victimization, part of the process of debate that is used by the "love it or leave it" folks.
But the statement's worst damage comes from the underlying threat that says, "You leave or we'll remove you" that often follows next, either by physical or social isolation. What is lost, however, is the progress that can be made from looking at those criticisms and learning what needs to be done to improve an idea or place and thereby limits the very nature of the American dream, which is to grow better every day.