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Bench Memos

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Re: A Brief Note on the Elections



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I’m surprised, and perhaps I should be flattered, to see that in today’s Washington Post two columnists quote parts of my brief morning-after reflection on the election. But:

Insofar as the broader context of her column might suggest that Melinda Henneberger is imputing to me the vile view that “non-white America … is not really America at all,” I emphatically reject that imputation. I wholeheartedly embrace the proposition that the American creed embodied in the Declaration of Independence is equally available to persons of all races, and I hope that America will always be a magnet for immigrants eager to adopt that creed. My fear is that too many Americans, of all races, have abandoned our founding ideals and don’t want to transmit them to the new generations of Americans. (I suspect that white progressive intellectuals rank highest among the culpable.)

Al Kamen, meanwhile, seems to cite my remarks as an example of “GOP fury … [that] tended to be somewhat incendiary.” I made my remarks in sadness for the future of our country, not in anger, and I certainly don’t purport to speak for the Republican Party. I’m not trying to inflame anything but rather hope that observations like mine help to awaken attention to all that is at stake.



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