The Corner


Standing Tall

(via Tulip Time Festival Facebook)

“If you ain’t Dutch, you ain’t much.” That is a saying from West Michigan, which is stocked with Dutchmen. The boast is uncharacteristic, in that the Dutch are so polite. They are raised in rectitude. (I am generalizing, of course, but not untruthfully.) Grand Rapids is the capital of Dutch Michigan. Gerald Ford rose there, and he wasn’t Dutch. See how tolerant they are of the Other?

Thirty miles from Grand Rapids is Holland — beautiful, clean, wholesome Holland, Mich. An emblematic town. I paid a visit there recently and have a journal on the homepage today (here).

In this journal, I mention that Dutch people — and Dutch Americans — are tall. Holland’s high schools have excelled in basketball over the years. Just this year, a Holland school finished runner-up in the state tournament.

Once upon a time, Holland Christian — from which Betsy DeVos, the secretary of education, graduated — was a basketball powerhouse. In the 1930s, they won the state championship twice and finished runner-up once. They have had some glory since then too.

Several years ago, Anthony Daniels — who also writes as Theodore Dalrymple — told me that the Dutch — in Europe, I mean — had surpassed certain East Africans as the tallest people in the world. Tony is well-known, and much appreciated, in the Netherlands, and he has appeared in the press there over the years. In one piece, he was described as “short of stature.” In no other country, almost certainly, would he be described that way.

Anyway, America is dotted with ethnic pockets, if you will, and Holland, Mich., is a very nice pocket. Check it out, perhaps going to the Tulip Festival one year. Or, if that’s impractical, my journal will do, for now.

P.S. This journal is replete with photos, which does not make me a photojournalist, I know, but you have to start somewhere. “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.”

Most Popular

White House

More Evidence the Guardrails Are Gone

At the end of last month, just as the news of the Ukraine scandal started dominating the news cycle, I argued that we're seeing evidence that the guardrails that staff had placed around Donald Trump's worst instincts were in the process of breaking down. When Trump's staff was at its best, it was possible to draw ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Elizabeth Warren Is Not Honest

If you want to run for office, political consultants will hammer away at one point: Tell stories. People respond to stories. We’ve been a story-telling species since our fur-clad ancestors gathered around campfires. Don’t cite statistics. No one can remember statistics. Make it human. Make it relatable. ... Read More
Economy & Business

Andrew Yang, Snake Oil Salesman

Andrew Yang, the tech entrepreneur and gadfly, has definitely cleared the bar for a successful cause candidate. Not only has he exceeded expectations for his polling and fundraising, not only has he developed a cult following, not only has he got people talking about his signature idea, the universal basic ... Read More
National Review


Today is my last day at National Review. It's an incredibly bittersweet moment. While I've only worked full-time since May, 2015, I've contributed posts and pieces for over fifteen years. NR was the first national platform to publish my work, and now -- thousands of posts and more than a million words later -- I ... Read More

Is America Becoming Sinicized?

A little over 40 years ago, Chinese Communist strongman and reformer Deng Xiaoping began 15 years of sweeping economic reforms. They were designed to end the disastrous, even murderous planned economy of Mao Zedong, who died in 1976. The results of Deng’s revolution astonished the world. In four decades, ... Read More