The Corner

Re ‘The Poison of Excuse-making’

A reader from El Salvador writes,

Hi Jay,

Your Corner post about poisonous excuses rings very true to me. In Latin America we have a long and proud history of making excuses. You may remember that the book Chávez gave Obama (Eduardo Galeano’s Las venas abiertas de América Latina) is one gigantic weepy excuse for all our problems. . . .

It’s so much easier to point the finger at others than at the man in the mirror, but it is a fruitless exercise. It leads only to rage and sterile self-satisfaction. It is the father of the spiritual poverty that begets material poverty. Unfortunately these bonds are cultural, ancient, and deep, so it will take more than a few generations to break free of them.

What a beautiful letter, even if on a frustrating topic. May the spirit of Mario Vargas Llosa, Hernando de Soto, and this NRO reader prevail, widely.

P.S. When I said, “Hernando de Soto,” I was referring to the contemporary economist, not to the 16th-century explorer — but, frankly, either will do . . .

Most Popular

Immigration

What Now for Trump’s Border Wall?

The verdict on the U.S.–Mexico border wall President Trump promised to construct is decidedly mixed as the year comes to a close. The “big, beautiful wall,” as Trump referred to it, reached 400 miles in length by the end of October, when the Department of Homeland Security held a ceremony hailing the ... Read More
Immigration

What Now for Trump’s Border Wall?

The verdict on the U.S.–Mexico border wall President Trump promised to construct is decidedly mixed as the year comes to a close. The “big, beautiful wall,” as Trump referred to it, reached 400 miles in length by the end of October, when the Department of Homeland Security held a ceremony hailing the ... Read More
Culture

New England Journal of Medicine Pushes Reparations

Reparations would grant African Americans government benefits not paid to other Americans to rectify the awful sin of slavery and the "peculiar institution's" residual harm. It is a favored policy of hard progressives, so of course, the New England Journal of Medicine -- which regularly promotes left-wing causes ... Read More
Culture

New England Journal of Medicine Pushes Reparations

Reparations would grant African Americans government benefits not paid to other Americans to rectify the awful sin of slavery and the "peculiar institution's" residual harm. It is a favored policy of hard progressives, so of course, the New England Journal of Medicine -- which regularly promotes left-wing causes ... Read More
Books

Three Cheers for the Quiet Ones

People often dismiss shy, quiet characters in literature. Readers prefer to identify with Jo March, Elizabeth Bennett, or Anne Shirley -- those delightful, bold, and charming characters who made a deep impression on us when we first encountered them. While there’s nothing wrong with emulating or admiring these ... Read More
Books

Three Cheers for the Quiet Ones

People often dismiss shy, quiet characters in literature. Readers prefer to identify with Jo March, Elizabeth Bennett, or Anne Shirley -- those delightful, bold, and charming characters who made a deep impression on us when we first encountered them. While there’s nothing wrong with emulating or admiring these ... Read More