The Corner

The Cant of Our Age

JPod:  “…a certain ‘universalism’ attaches to American ideas about immigration — a point that Derb said was news to him.”

What I actually said was that to judge by his words on the floor of the Senate chamber, this was news to Senator Kennedy in 1965; and that the Senator, then as now a shrewd politician, presumably thought it was news to his constituents; and therefore that it may not be as “basic” to America as we are being told.

I’m not even sure that Emma Lazarus would agree with this recently-minted “universalism.”  It would be nice to know her view about a great influx of people from Muslim nations.  Or from Latin American nations, with their strong traditions of antisemitism.  (Where do you think all the old Nazis retired to?)  Alas, Ms. Lazarus cannot tell us.

But Mark is of course right.  Whatever was the case in 1910 or 1965, this is now the cant of our age, and we just have to hope the Republic can survive it.

Please give my regards to Ralph.

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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