The Corner

Immigration

When NR’s Fastest Talkers Collide

It’s already on the homepage, and, if you subscribe (which you should), then you’ve probably at least seen, if not already listened, to the latest Remnant, featuring our very own Reihan Salam. And now that that unnecessarily long sentence is out of the way, let me tell you why I’m plugging it here. Reihan has a new book out: Melting Pot or Civil War, on this country’s fraught immigration politics. We spent much of the podcast discussing it, and I obviously highly recommend it. While Reihan and I don’t agree on everything (about which more in a bit), I think the past 30 years or so have shown that the immigration debate is in desperate need of fresh thinking, and that’s what Reihan has brought to it.

As for what we disagree on: One of the many reasons I like Reihan, aside from the euphony of mellifluous voice, is that he is willing to reject dogma and think through his positions on his own. And that’s the source of one of our disagreements. I like some of that dogma a lot more than he does. But that’s what makes the conversation fun. So he did not shy away from his quasi-Bismarckian, one-nation, solidarity-based conservatism. Rather, he embraced it, but also acknowledged its limitations. As a member in good standing of the Remnant and a classical liberal (or something close to it), I like to emphasize those limitations a lot more than he might. But I’ve always enjoyed how conservatives have been able to have honest discussions about their principles like this. Who is right? Well, you’ll have to listen to the Remnant, and buy Reihan’s book, to find out.

Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor of National Review and the author of Suicide of the West, holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute.

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