The Corner

Re ‘You’ve Got to Be Kidding . . .’

Thought you might appreciate a sampling of mail. A lot of it goes like this mordant missive:

Hi Jay,

I would like to ask the Chinese if they would send a copy of their policy for dealing with North Korean immigrants to the unenlightened people of Arizona. I am sure our bigoted citizens would benefit from seeing the compassion dealt a people whose only crime was eating the bark off their trees.

We should also note that we are making great efforts to bring our own immigration policies into conformity with Mexico’s. Having given up the false notion of American exceptionalism, we intend to act in the future like just one of the guys.

A fair amount of bitterness packed into those sentences — I understand entirely. Also, there has been extensive comment on my question, “Do you ever get the idea that our government is a bunch of left-wing undergraduates come to power?” (I think I had in mind Elspeth Rostow’s statement during the Kennedy administration: “You’re just a bunch of junior officers come to power.”) One man wrote, “I think we need a new term to describe the Obama team’s approach to international affairs: Bong Hit Diplomacy. Just a suggestion . . .”

And how ’bout this one, from, or about, my dear old lefty hometown of Ann Arbor, Mich.? “Jay, I personally think of them as the graduate students I used to live with in the North Campus Co-Op in Ann Arbor back when I was an engineering undergrad. If you’re not familiar with the NCC I’m sure you can imagine what it was like. I find the experience to have been invaluable for understanding the current scene, not that it makes me sleep any better at night.”

Word.

Oh, hang on — there is also mail like this:

Dear Mr. Nordlinger,

Regarding the issue of “a government that maintains a gulag, that denies people their basic rights . . .”: Maybe they have classified these people as “enemy combatants.” In that case, according to you guys at NRO, it is perfectly reasonable, right? Or is it just Republican American presidents that can do whatever they want to people?

About this type — for whom Guantanamo Bay means human-rights crimes, who cannot hear of China or a similar dictatorship without thinking of Guantanamo Bay, who will not stand for America’s talking to anybody about human rights — there is nothing you can do. At least I find. Is that a lousy thing for an opinion journalist to admit? Yes, probably. But I find there is nothing you can do to reach such people, that they are hardened to moral reason. Either they grow up or they don’t. Sometimes, mercifully, they do.

Most Popular

Elections

Kamala Harris Runs for Queen

I’m going to let you in on a secret about the 2020 presidential contest: Unless unforeseen circumstances lead to a true wave election, the legislative stakes will be extremely low. The odds are heavily stacked against Democrats’ retaking the Senate, and that means that even if a Democrat wins the White House, ... Read More
Culture

What We’ve Learned about Jussie Smollett

It’s been a few weeks since March 26, when all charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and the actor declared that his version of events had been proven correct. How’s that going? Smollett’s celebrity defenders have gone quiet. His publicists and lawyers are dodging reporters. The @StandwithJussie ... Read More
Energy & Environment

The Climate Trap for Democrats

The more the climate debate changes, the more it stays the same. Polls show that the public is worried about climate change, but that doesn’t mean that it is any more ready to bear any burden or pay any price to combat it. If President Donald Trump claws his way to victory again in Pennsylvania and the ... Read More
White House

Sarah Sanders to Resign at End of June

Sarah Huckabee Sanders will resign from her position as White House press secretary at the end of the month, President Trump announced on Twitter Thursday afternoon. https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1139263782142787585 Sanders, the daughter of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, succeeded Sean ... Read More