The Opening in the President’s Mind

Astonishing interview with only The PRESIDENT by my favourite US national columnist (and Baruch’s and Bento’s chum), writer of the only column worth reading in the independent-thought-free-zone that is the WSJ op-ed page, Kim Strassel. I have to say I agree with every word he says here (and I suspect only here).

The interview is mostly astonishing because of this; on immigration he seems to know and understand what he’s talking about. Having listened to him on so many other topics, where he seems, to be frank, something less than engaged, it seems that what is different here is that the policy also comes from personal experience:

“America is a country whose soul is constantly renewed by people pursuing what has been labeled the American Dream. It’s an amazing country where people can come with nothing except for God-given talent and a deep desire to improve their family’s lives and succeed.” He notes his time in Texas, and how many Latinos he saw arrive, whose offspring “rose to positions of prominence and became significant contributors to our society.”  

How can such a sensible-sounding person be such a disastrous public figure otherwise? I think his problem could be that he is simply not intellectual enough, and lacks the ethical bottom to understand how what he has wrought detracts so very much from what the US is actually for (“We are a country of law, and we ought to uphold the law.” Hm). Complex abstract reasoning may be what fails him, as well as the ability to change course when the previous atavistically chosen position is falsified. Abstract reasoning is precisely what we need where we are forced to make decisions where we have limited information. The personal level is where he excels, clearly, but the impossibility of meeting all the people he needs to and them being able to ignore the public persona when they do is his tragedy. It is an object lesson in the necessity of a liberal education and having the classics jammed into one. It is the result of the Closing of the American Mind. Allan Bloom is not a dick.

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