on peace (reposted and revised from November 14, 2007)
In the last season of The Sopranos, Bobby Baccala talks about why his grandfather could not get into America through Ellis Island, and instead snuck in through Montreal. His grandfather had a police record in the old country. He was involved in anti-government activities.
After telling this story, Bobby and Carmela Soprano each agree that they should build a wall to protect the border now. Presumably to keep out immigrants and terrorists.
Bobby Baccala is a captain in a crime syndicate. His father was a hit man. His anti-government agitator grandfather snuck into America. But now they should build a wall? Now immigration is a threat? Immigration was good in the past when an anti-government agitator could sneak in and father a murderer who would father another criminal, but new immigrants must be kept out?
This is the sort of theme that we see repeatedly in The Sopranos: characters blind to their own evil. There are many, many examples of characters who not only justify their own evil deeds, but occasionally appear entirely blind to the very evil of their deeds.
It is a common affliction, of course. This blindness appears when we justify acts of violence from "our" side that we would never tolerate from another (would American advocates of torture advise other nation's to adopt policies of torture when they deem it necessary for security, or is America exceptional here?).