Matthew Continetti, the Founding Editor of the Washington Free Beacon, put forward an interesting question for readers to ponder over in his piece titled “Whatever Happened to Immigration?”

In the piece, Continetti observed that “It is a sign of the times that immigration has not been mentioned in three hours of debate between the presidential tickets.”

The editor of the Free Beacon offered some speculation as to why immigration is not being talked about:

It is tempting to say that immigration did not come up because the elites who manage the presidential debates are uncomfortable with the topic, are worried that the issue favors Republican border hawks, and are more interested in subjects relevant to their cultural coterie. But it is also true that presidential debates tend to focus on current events and pressing challenges, and that immigration just does not seem as great a concern today as the coronavirus, the economy, race relations and civil unrest, and California brushfires.

The power of the immigration issue cannot be denied. Continetti was correct in highlighting how it has fueled the rise of a grassroots resistance force across the U.S.:

There is no gainsaying immigration’s importance to the Trump presidency. It was immigration that triggered the grassroots rebellion against the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, and against congressional supporters of amnesty for illegal immigrants, culminating in Trump’s 2016 primary victory. Immigration became the touchstone of Trump’s campaign on day one and served as the cudgel by which he defeated Jeb Bush and other Republicans for whom the Bush-Obama approach to legalization was correct.

The Free Beacon editor lucidly details what a Biden administration paired with a Democrat Congress would mean for the country:

In short, a President Biden would return immigration policy to the status quo before Trump. With this difference: Biden, unlike Obama, would be dealing with a Democratic Party whose left wing has been radicalized and includes prominent officials who support such extreme measures as decriminalizing border crossing and abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Senator Harris herself has called for “restructuring” ICE (and for abolishing private health insurance, banning fracking, and imposing universal background checks for gun purchases through administrative fiat). The leftward drift of the Democrats makes immigration politics more fraught, and more polarizing. Having learned nothing from the Trump phenomenon, Biden and Harris are eager to reinstate the exact policies that gave birth to it.

In his concluding remarks, Continetti left his readers with a salient observation:

If the Trump campaign fails to raise the question of immigration, the Democratic establishment that stands to gain from the public’s judgment of the president’s coronavirus response will happily ignore it. But they will not be able to avoid immigration forever. Or the furies it unleashes.

Continetti is no anti-establishment type. To the contrary, he’s the son-in-law of long-time neocon pundit turned Never Trumper Bill Kristol. On top of that, Continetti frequently runs content calling for military action against countries such as Iran and Venezuela. Not what you would call a principled populist.

To Continetti’s credit, he at least recognizes the power of the national question — the idea that the Historic American nation has a right to exist and set its own migration restriction policies. At some point, even the most vanilla of conservatives has to recognize the fact that many of the concepts that they believe in — say, free speech — will go out the window thanks to migrants’ behavior at the polls. At this point, conservatives have to wake up to the harsh reality of basic numbers.

Instead of trying to defend other countries’ borders, neocons should actually start trying to defend our own borders. The interests of the Historic American nation trump any foreign nations’ desires.