Mailbag

by Jay Nordlinger

In response to Impromptus today, a reader writes,

I’m not sure it would be bad to have race used as an issue by the Democrats next year. In fact, I hope Democrats hurl their charges with abandon, for there is no other way for this nonsense to be purged from our political dialogue than for the people to become sick of it.

Don’t know — seems to me the race card is pretty effective, no matter how foully or dishonestly played.

Another reader writes,

I think Ron Paul has become our Jesse Jackson candidate: the candidate everyone tiptoes around for fear of offending his very vocal followers. I have friends who love RP.  Any criticism whatsoever brings on a barrage.

Tell me!

In lamentation, a reader writes,

I’ve always thought one of the beautiful things about America is you don’t have to be political, your life doesn’t depend on it. But after dinner, after bath time and reading my boy a story, when I finally sit down and look at the news, I don’t want to see that one of my ex-presidents has sent condolences, best wishes, etc., to the North Korean dictatorship.

It’s people like Jimmy Carter who keep me engaged in politics.

Amusingly put. I don’t even address Jimmah and the Norks in Impromptus today. Our reader just wanted to lament. In any case, I’ll have more to say about this (nauseating) issue later.

Toward the end of my column, I have a language note, saying I frown on the phrase “highly illegal.” Something’s illegal or it’s not — just as something is unique or not (or you’re pregnant or not). (Has Anthony Kennedy ruled on that?)

Anyway, there has been much pushback against me, à la,

While there can be no degrees of perfection or uniqueness, I clearly see degrees of legality. It’s illegal to drive 60 mph in a 55 mph zone. It is more illegal to drive 70, and highly illegal to drive 70 while texting and snorting coke.

Hmm, I’ll have to think about that one. But on the question of perfection: What about “a more perfect union”?

Finally,

I believe that the objections to “Merry Christmas” stem from a misunderstanding of the phrase. While you and I mean “Please share my joy in this wonderful season,” some interpret it to mean “Honor Christmas, you infidel!”

Thanks to all letter-writers, and catch you soon.

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