The Corner

The Other Side

Yes, there are still Bushies out there.

“Mr. Derbyshire—First, I surmise that you’ve received a bunch of e-mails like this one from Bush supporters like me (yes, we’re still out here).  Second, I take it that you don’t think of us ‘Bush-bots’ very highly; I take it that you think of us as rather moronic intellectual automatons.

“Well, here’s one Bush supporter who, to cite an example, fully understands your discourse on Hilbert spaces. I find such things fascinating; you ought to do some work on tensor analysis and its relationship to relativistic physics in general and Einsteinian relativity theory specifically (I’d love to go into that here, but can’t, for brevity reasons).

“Now to the main point of this e-mail, and it’s short and sweet: We are in much better shape today after 5 years of Bush Jr. than we were before Bush Jr. assumed power – the current angst over immigration, energy, and Iraq notwithstanding.

“Mr. Derbyshire, there has not been a terrorist attack on U.S. soil – or against Americans overseas – since 9/11 (I’m not counting Iraq occupation casualties, for obvious reasons). Before 9/11, we’ve had an al-Qaida attack against Americans or American interests an average of once every two years (review the history and you’ll see what I mean).

“Crime? With very few exceptions, it’s been falling rather steadily since 2000; the homicide rate in Washington, D.C., for example, hit a two-decade low last year. If current trends continue this year, it will be at a four-decade low. In NYC, it is already at a four-decade low; ditto here in Atlanta, and in Chicago and Miami.  

“Hmmm … no terror attacks, near record-low murder rates in major U.S. cities … we MUST be doing something right – your rather angry, pessimistic arguments notwithstanding. And I haven’t even begun talking about the current state of the U.S. economy; others at NRO with much more economic acumen than me have been doing a brilliant job on this crucial topic. 

“Immigration? Energy? Iraq? Important topics to be sure, but in my world, not quite as important as terrorism or the economy. You can have the latter without the former, but not vice versa.

“Finally, to demonstrate once more my mathematical acumen, I downloaded your March 9, 2006 prime number posting on NRO/Corner (you know the number I’m talking about) and, in less than 15 minutes, calculated it to be approximately equal to 5.1274 times 10 to the 38,886-th power.  Not bad for a ‘moronic Bush-bot intellectual automaton,’ eh?”

[Derb]  Me no post bad stuff.  And for the record, I am not in the habit of thinking that people who disagree with me must be stupid.  (A) My math degree was a Class Three.  How many Classes were there?  Just the three.  (B) I hang out with some REAL intellectuals (see here, here, here, and here)…

…and disagree with them far more than is good for my self-esteem.

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

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