Aspects of Divinity

by Jay Nordlinger

On this week’s podcast, Mona Charen and I have a special guest, Abigail Thernstrom — whom I call “the divine Abby Thernstrom,” as though “divine” were a fixed part of her name. She is one half of the husband-wife duo of Stephan and Abigail Thernstrom. Steve is one of the leading U.S. historians, by which I mean, one of the leading historians on the subject of the United States. As for Abby’s scholarship, she is maybe our foremost expert on voting rights — and is an expert on more subjects than that.

She is also a red-diaper baby. Whittaker Chambers knew how hard it was to break with the Left — it almost killed him. Abby knows something about this too, as we discuss on the podcast. I have often said that many of our most valuable conservatives have come from the Left. More important, WFB said it too. Probably half of his original editors and writers were former Communists — Chambers, Frank Meyer, James Burnham, and so on.

What else we got? Well, Mona and I talk about such cheery subjects as the Cambodian holocaust. But we eventually get around to some talk about music (a subject that can be very contentious, actually). The podcast ends with the playing of an exultant section of Bach’s B-minor Mass — as divine as Abby.

By the way, we prove once more that Mona is a better person than I, by far. She applauds the American people for seeing through this Obama-administration trick of canceling White House tours. I say (roughly), “Yeah, yeah. The good old American people. I see in the newspapers — or whatever today’s equivalents are — that Obama’s approval rating has dropped to 43 percent, that Americans are fed up with him, blah, blah, blah. And I think to myself, ‘Too late. Too late, you SOBs. Thanks a lot.’”

See what I mean, about Mona’s being a better person? She could run for office. Some of the rest of us are . . . more limited, let’s say, by the words we have let loose.

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