Kathryn, I was preoccupied yesterday writing my Globe and Mail column (see it here) and so I didn’t see your response to my note on Tom Tancredo. As it happens I agree with you that harsh comments on immigration (and related topics) often get in the way of persuading people. But sometimes they are only way of drawing people’s attention to neglected dangers in the first place. Politicians with real hope of major offices will never take risks of that kind by confronting entrenched left opinion and policies.. So the risks have to be undertaken by freebooters and independent spirits such as Tancredo. That almost guarantees problems, of course, and Tom generated his fair share of them. But if the freebooters didn’t exist, there would be no debate to which the office-holders could contribute sober and measured analyses.
It’s another example of the division of labor.