It may surprise some Americans to learn that almost one-quarter of the people living in Switzerland are foreigners. Even so, just over 50 percent voted last month to cap immigration, which, unchecked, could leave indigenous Swiss a minority in 50 years. Newsweek’s headline over the story was typical: “Switzerland’s Sudden Fear of Immigrants.”
Fear. Immigrants. The German publication Spiegel Online wrote also about “scaremongering.” The enlightened reader’s thought-bubble is now supposed to register the word “racism.” But was it really “fear of immigrants” — read: “racism” — that drove sufficient numbers of Swiss to the polls to check their own demographic extinction as a recognizable culture and nation-state? Or was it a nearly anachronistic instinct to survive as a recognizable culture and nation-state?