Feehery: Sky Zone represents the genius of America

Feehery: Sky Zone represents the genius of America
© The Hill illustration

For those who don’t have young children, Sky Zone is a place where people of all ages, races, creeds and political persuasions jump up and down on trampolines, as they play dodgeball, dunk basketballs or just bounce to their heart’s content.

Started in Las Vegas fourteen years ago by entrepreneur Rick Platt, Sky Zone has grown to have locations in 13 states and in several foreign countries. 

My daughter loves Sky Zone and I took her there over this rainy weekend because we had to get out of the house and bouncing up and down seemed like a great way to pass the time. 

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When you go to Sky Zone, you see the best of the American melting pot. And I see that as a metaphor for the American experiment. 


I am generally favorable to President TrumpDonald John TrumpProsecutors investigating Trump inaugural fund, pro-Trump super PAC for possible illegal foreign donations: NY Times George Conway: Why take Trump's word over prosecutors' if he 'lies about virtually everything' Federal judge says lawsuit over Trump travel ban waivers will proceed MORE and his team. I like what they are doing to get rid of regulations, lower taxes and spur economic growth. I like what they are trying to do to enforce current law on immigration and to strengthen the border. 

But some elements among the president’s supporters believe that immigrants are bad for America. They want to crack down on both legal and illegal immigration. 

Immigration is the lifeblood of America and, just as importantly, of American capitalism. Sure, we need to have a good sense of who comes into this country and we need to have an orderly process of assimilation. But America shouldn’t be in the business of restricting legal immigration into this country. We should be in the business of fixing our broken immigration system to make sure that it works for the American people and for those who are trying to become Americans.

Over the weekend, I was forwarded an email that contained Richard Lamm’s infamous speech given more a decade ago entitled: “I have a plan to destroy America.” In Lamm’s worldview, immigration and immigrants are killing this country. Lamm has long pushed for population control, euthanasia, abortion, as he advocated for strict limits on immigrants. The Lamm view seems to have grown more popular in this era of Trump, but it is just as wrong as when he first expressed it three decades ago.

Going back to the 1980s, Lamm predicted that we would run out of oil and food, that the economy would tank, that the environment would be spoiled.  Stuart Anderson in the mid-90s fact-checked the former Colorado governor in a piece published by the CATO Institute: “The list of doomsaying predictions goes on, but, suffice it to say, the trends of the past 11 years have contradicted virtually every prediction in Lamm’s book. Inflation has decreased from 3.8 percent to 2.9 percent during that period. Unemployment has dropped from 7.2 percent to 5.6 percent. Few serious economists believe that immigration, even illegal immigration, contributes to the U.S. unemployment rate. And we certainly do not see second-generation Hispanics kidnapping whites and issuing political demands, as Lamm predicts in his book.”

Anderson was right then and his analysis is even more on point today. 

The biggest threat to America is not immigration. Immigration is the lifeblood of our economy, the DNA of our culture and our competitive edge as we engage the rest of the world.

The biggest threat to the American way of life comes from those who would use the power of government to restrain innovation, to redistribute wealth and to enforce political correctness. The biggest threat comes from the socialists who are rapidly gaining favor in the Democratic Party.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell sets Monday test vote on criminal justice bill Senate votes to end US support for Saudi war, bucking Trump Former FBI official says Mueller won’t be ‘colored by politics’ in Russia probe MORE (R-Ky.) put it well when he wrote in the Courier Journal this weekend, “By definition, a socialist forcibly denies an individual’s rights, property, and the money in his or her wallet in favor of the group. These ideas have failed every time, and the twentieth century is filled with their results: horrific poverty, countless deaths, and a complete loss of personal freedom.”

You don’t see too many places like Sky Zone in North Korea, Cuba or Venezuela. There aren’t too many folks trying to immigrate there, either.

Immigrants aren’t a threat to the American way of life. Socialists are.

Feehery is partner at EFB Advocacy and blogs at www.thefeeherytheory.com. He served as spokesman to former Speaker of the House Dennis HastertJohn (Dennis) Dennis HastertFeehery: How Republicans can counter the possible impeachment push To avoid Bush’s one-term fate, Trump must grow his coalition What insurgent Dems can learn from the Democratic Study Group MORE (R-Ill.), as communications director to former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) when he was majority whip and as a speechwriter to former Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-Ill.).