From: An American Reader [Email him]
In some ways John Podhoretz never seems to have never left the third grade. It wasn't too long ago that in lieu of a rational argument he was calling Steve Sailer "reprllent" and now he has called VDARE.com editor Peter Brimelow a racist swine.
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What elicited this scurrilous invective was Mr. Brimelow's rather common-sense observation that the Taliban like left wants to smash every icon of what used to simply be called America but now has become a problematic past. (See Sailer's And Then They Came for That Notorious Enemy of Humanity Stephen Foster.)Mr. Brimelow also makes the not-unwarranted leap that what the Left is really after is not the symbols but the very substance of this country—not the idea of it—but its people. However, Mr. Podhoretz is having none of this, for like his multicultural masters, he sees a controversial statue and he wants to go a-razing, wants to go blazing into the rainbow future. What I think he can't understand is that some of have a real affection for this country and for its past, warts and all. But then that shouldn't be surprising because for him that past is not his—no, not at all.
James Fulford writes: In My Love Affair with America, John Podhoretz's father, Norman Podhoretz, whose own father was an immigrant, wrote of his generation's feeling of disconnection with the historic American nation:
"I could never quite get over the feeling that I was not as 'real' an American as someone whose people had come here earlier than mine. Sometimes I would joke about this, as when, in the early days of our marriage, my wife, who wrote (and still does) under the name Midge Decter, and I drove one summer Fort Ticonderoga in upstate New York to visit what we thought of as an American shrine. But as we approached the gate, the first thing we saw was a sign informing the public that this was the site of several major battles in the French and Indian wars of the 1750s. 'The French and Indian wars?' I burst out in mock indignation, 'what's that got to do with me?' At this, in our ignorance, both giggled, and in an antic gesture of protest I turned the car around without ever entering the fort."
Presumably JPod feels the same way about the Civil War and Stephen Foster.