The Derb supports immigration restriction—Not

In my catalogue of John Derbyshire’s conservative or traditionalist positions which he has forgotten, watered down, abandoned, betrayed, changed his mind about, or never believed in in the first place, I forgot the most recent and perhaps the most spectacular:

Derbyshire is a hard-line, paleocon-style immigration restrictionist—yet he urges Republican voters to stay home on election day, which, if they followed his advice, would lead to the election of a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives and the passage of President Bush’s catastrophic open-borders bill.

Also note that when Derbyshire replied at the Corner to my original blog entry on this subject, he did not even attempt to answer my argument that his position would empower the open-borders crowd. Instead he said that I was attacking him because I refuse to forgive him for a slight he once directed at me. Amazing. I’ve been writing against America’s open-immigration disaster for over 15 years, but when I criticize Derbyshire for taking an open-borders position, he thinks I’m doing it out of personal pique. How perfectly this expresses a mind that is incapable of grasping or standing by a principle, that sees everything through the filter of the personal and anecdotal.

- end of initial entry -

Tom S. writes:

Well stated. You’re also right in saying that Derbyshire is nothing compared to Heather MacDonald. Say what you will, Derbyshire at least believes in God (for now, or at any rate until the next posting over at GNXP). Also, Derbyshire makes no claims to being a serious analyst—he has stated that he has an aversion to deep thinking, and I believe that we can take him at his word. But MacDonald is a flat out atheist, of a really adolescent kind, and makes John Derbyshire look like a revival preacher. Incidentally, I thought that you did a fine job of answering MacDonald with regard to the problem of Evil—far better than Michael Novak. If this guy is the best theologian that we have on the Right, it’s no wonder Islam is making converts. I swear, every time someone trots out the same old “well, we can’t know the ways of God” argument, some wobbly theist turn atheist. They’ve heard that ever since they were kids squirming in Church, and if that were going to convince them, it would have done so long ago. MacDonald asked a legitimate question, and deserved a legitimate answer, and you gave her one…

LA replies:

“Derbyshire makes no claims to being a serious analyst—he has stated that he has an aversion to deep thinking,”

Why then does he molest the conservative reading public with his endless unfolding of his thoughts??? There has never been anyone who writes more about his own thoughts. And what thoughts! “I don’t think man is made in the image of God because I had an uncle in Manchester, or was it Birmingham, I have so many uncles and aunts with so many stories it’s hard to remember which is which, who died a painful death from cancer, and I’m telling you, by the time he reached the end he was no image of God!…. I don’t believe in God because belief in God is a passion and since I’m an old coot with bad teeth and a waning libido my belief in God has also waned … and besides my belief was pretty watery in the first place … But despite the fact that I never really believed in God and have never had a religious experience, I think it’s really important for me to tell the world about my lack of belief in God and Christ because after all Steve Sailer’s friends have persuaded me that Darwinian natural selection explains everything.” This is the level of mentation that Derbyshire—backed by NRO’s editor who shouldn’t be giving him such leeway, and further backed by Michael Novak that great Catholic thinker who if he had an ounce of seriousness would tell Derbyshire that his ideas about God are embarrassingly stupid instead of giving him a certificate of approval—feels he must share with the world, in an unending flow of, “What large thought about the nature of existence can I base on what aspect of my own trivial self today?” He should just stop it. He should write about real topics, not about himself and his philosophy of existence, especially since, as you point out, he himself says he’s no deep thinker. Can you imagine NR under Buckley or O’Sullivan allowing a non-believer to gas on and on like this about his unbelief? Can you imagine any respectable magazine in pre-1960 America—or even pre-1990 America—allowing it?

Jacob M. writes:

When you satirized John Derbyshire’s thoughts as:

“I don’t believe in God because belief in God is a passion and since I’m an old coot with bad teeth and a waning libido my belief in God has also waned …”

I laughed out loud. That right there disproves Derbyshire’s claim about your blog being a humor-free zone. :)

LA replies:

Thank you. Other readers have made similar observations from time to time. Also, this is now the second time that Derbyshire has referred in public to a private conversation between us about his “humor-free zone” comment and misrepresented why I stopped communicating with him. In an earlier entry at the Corner he said that I cut him off forever because he said VFR is a humor-free zone. And this past week he said that the real reason I attacked his advocacy of abandoning the Republicans was that I had a vendetta against him for the “humor-free zone” remark. For anyone who is interested, here is my explanation, posted in August ‘05, of what really happened.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 02, 2006 06:27 PM | Send

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