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Boycott the Arizona boycotters

When economies take a hit, those most bruised are ordinarily the people who were poor to begin with, which is to say that an effective boycott of Arizona would be devastating to the illegal aliens living there.

OK, fine, some might say. The crunch on the lives of these people could be more successful in causing them to take off for their native lands than the object of the boycotters' ire: a new, perfectly responsible catch-the-aliens law brought on by a federal government asleep at the switch.

After all, the job-eradicating recession has reportedly sent at least a million and maybe many more illegals packing nationally, and you just might send more home from Arizona by inducing a new host of economic evils there.

But wait -- an expedited exodus would not make up for all the unnecessary hardships you could inflict on other perfectly innocent people, some that don't agree with the law and millions of whom do. Their very good reason is that it might stop at least some future drug-smuggling murders while ultimately helping to save billions in tax dollars that subsidize the uninvited visitors.

Generalized boycotts are like burning down the barn to get a rat, only in this case there is no rat. The law's supposed discrimination against Hispanics is nothing more than the fevered imaginings of out-of-touch leftists who probably don't even know that other states have already passed some 222 laws guarding themselves against illegal-alien dangers and whose own reverse bigotry is evident in practically every other word they utter on the subject.

But let's do consider the excuses proffered by the boycotters for their supercilious, show-off, uninformed acts of mean-spiritedness -- that the point is not to make people suffer, but to get some of those people to alter their behavior, to get rid of this law. These haughty heroes mean to take a valiant stand, you see, and not just symbolically; officials of one boycotting city are contemplating the cancelation of major software company contracts with Arizonans, for instance.

You buy that style of reasoning? If so, let's go after the real rats. Let's boycott the boycotters. As a nation, let's rise up and say, yes, at every opportunity we will vacation in and visit Arizona, we will order products from Arizona, we will do business with Arizona, but then say no: We will not set foot in or buy anything from San Francisco, San Diego, Oakland, Los Angeles, Austin, Boulder, Boston or any other city whose leaders announce a boycott of Arizona.

Let's all of us sensible Americans -- the great majority who respect the right of self-protection -- vow we will avoid these places like the plague, understanding that an Arizona citizens' counter-move against San Diego already has that city's tourism industry wringing its hands. What we demand before we will forgive and forget is that they rescind their own boycotts, and, by heavens, apologize.

Come on, let's do this thing, let's show this vacuous-minded that their mounting of high horses might occasionally have some consequence beyond the ruin of others and their own self-adulation. Let's show them that the higher you mount, the harder you fall.

We might thereby also send a message to Washington that we expect something real from the administration on this question -- such as truly cracking down on employers who hire the illegals after establishing a system of sure IDs -- instead of what we have been getting so far. That includes talk about an illegal-alien amnesty telling the world our borders are meaningless and even human rights sessions with representatives of China in which an assistant secretary of state equates Arizona's law with the murderous, liberty-denying, tyrannical viciousness of that country's rulers.

I don't want a further balkanization of America, but I am beginning to think it's time for the common-sense crowd to push back occasionally.

-- Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and the editor of dailies in El Paso, Texas and Denver, is a columnist living in Colorado. E-mail him at