Saturday, July 19, 2003

The best historian of our time, Paul Johnson, has published a new article that makes makes me grope for new superlatives, having used all the other ones on previous things he's written. The audacious title alone would make me love it even if the rest of the article had been written in Tagalog: "Anti-Americanism is Racist Envy." My favorite passage:

" The U.S. is the world's most successful democracy. The right of voters to elect more than 80,000 public officials, the length and thoroughness of electoral campaigns, the pervasiveness of the media and the almost daily reports by opinion polls ensure that government and electorate do not diverge for long and that Washington generally reflects the majority opinion in its actions. It is this feature that intellectuals--especially in Europe--find embittering. They know they must genuflect to democracy as a system. They cannot openly admit that an entire people--especially one comprising nearly 300 million, who enjoy all the freedoms--can be mistaken. But in their hearts these intellectuals do not accept the principle of one person, one vote. They scornfully, if privately, reject the notion that a farmer in Kansas, a miner in Pennsylvania or an auto assembler in Michigan can carry as much social and moral weight as they do. "

I love Paul Johnson.

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