I desperately cling to the idea of America because, over the course of my life, I’ve known too many immigrants who saw us (yes, us, with all of our problems) as the last best hope.

My mother had a friend who escaped the Armenian genocide. As a boy, he saw a woman’s baby cut from her womb by Turkish Islamic zealots. I was young enough to only vaguely understand this picture, but my mother was shaken by it, and I can remember the look on her face.

I met a Trump supporter who described her childhood in South East Asia, overrun by Communists. As I remember her story, she said her mother told them, “we’re getting out of here. You boys will be soldiers and you girls will be soldiers’ wives.” There is something very touching, and fierce, about the patriotism of a woman who escaped abject terror.

Some friends of our escaped Yugoslavia’s Tito. I had a cook who grew up under Romanian despotism. I remember a child who could not raise his tankard in our colonial tavern, over his weeping,  because he remembered his grandmother’s sacrifice to get him out of Castro’s Cuba — and I have some long time friends from Arcadia (you know who you are) who had parents who arrived here with nothing but a suitcase, because Communism took it all away.

No, I don’t like Bernie or Hillary or any hopeful collectivist, and I don’t like them because I know what kind of damage they cause.

We have enormous blessings here. Maybe it’s time to consider why we enjoy them?

Maybe our standard for immigration should really be: do you understand that it’s not just about a job?

It’s about freedom, and the freedom that comes from one people, under God, being equal before the law.

The wall is there, or should be there, for a reason: This is Emerald City.