A few years ago while having dinner in Paris, my wife and I struck up a conversation with another couple at an adjacent table. That’s not something we tend to do at home, though the proximity of Parisian dinning creates its own social dynamics. It took a couple of meals to come to terms with the concept of a private table for two as one that is separated by an entire thumb’s width of space between neighboring patrons. Which made it odder than you may think to eat elbow to elbow with strangers while pretending they don’t exist.
At any rate, we had nearly mastered the craft until one evening the couple talking inches away from us seemed to have altered their conversation the one degree necessary to direct it toward us. My inner Travis Bickle was momentarily startled: Are you talkin’ to me?
As it turned out they were from Helsinki on vacation and, with wine flowing, the four of us settled into a very enjoyable conversation over a customarily long French meal. I can’t recall their names, if I ever even knew them, though I do remember the husband apologizing for his slightly less than perfect English–this being their third language after Finnish and French. Of course with my own mastery of a third (and second) language being still in the planning stage, I was willing to accept his apology in good humor.
Some hours later we said goodbyes with regret and emerged into the city’s sparkling pre-maghrebi evening. Walking along the Seine I mused at what was so obvious it must never appear in mainstream print. That foreign couple, separated by latitude, language, custom, history, and nearly 5,000 miles, was incomparably more us than the chittering Asians and IndiPakiDeshians who were our actual neighbors and fellow Americans. Which was as clear an indication as possible that government bestows citizenship, not kinship. The two being always intentionally conflated for sake of expediency. This has more to do with Vladimir Putin than you probably imagine.
That Russia almost certainly had nothing whatsoever to do with democrats’ purloined Emails has equally nothing to do with their media organs’ portrayal of the affair. If there is profit or power available from making hay out of lies, then get ready to roll the bales.
And that rolling has taken the form of righteous posturing over the specter of foreign interference in our elections. Now I understand the left rejects hypocrisy like Tennessee Coates rejects grape soda, but this is honestly asking the public too swallow a bit too much. The democrats’ entire electoral template is premised on foreign interference in our elections. That’s the model, and one about which they openly crow. Every liberal analyst charts the blossoming colonies of foreign migrants who they eagerly project to eventually swamp the ballots of legacy Americans. Importing millions of aliens to nullify the votes of your domestic opposition is possibly even more impactful to an election than the release of Emails. It may seem odd for some to accept, but foreign interference in our elections can exist even when it’s massive and obvious. And without it, Trump wins in a historic landslide.
It’s really an impressively ludicrous premise. That Pete shares some sacred bond with Ahmed and Igboo by virtue of their having just alighted on American soil against his wishes with the intention of voting against him. Only to have the solemn integrity of this racket allegedly sullied by Russian tampering, alas. Something, we are advised, Pete himself must fight to overcome. Their political motive is plain, yet hearing libs scream about foreigners in our elections is still more than a man should have to bear. If it helps, perhaps in 2020 Putin will agree to sneak over the border and obtain an EBT card and subsidized housing before taking any part in the process. I presume by precedent this would assuage their concerns.
Though there’s actually a deeper dynamic at work than just the usual flexibility of progressive principles. The disparate underlying perceptions of foreign are what’s really at issue. Because even though that word is the one in use, what is actually meant is Other. Libs are quite familiar with the concept, which explains why white Christian Russians are foreign by their lights while feral Somalis are not. And on the right side there is a tacit sentiment that even if Vlad were able to elect himself as President, his contempt for and intended harm towards deplorable America is nothing compared to the Democrats. That is to say, a guy in Moscow who doesn’t yearn for my demise is better than one in Washington who does.
And so there proceeds an unspoken bleeding out of friends and foreigners beyond physical borders. Liberals are far more inclined to a sense of warm benevolence and shared destiny with Muslim migrants than with the white conservatives whose forefathers founded the colonies alongside their own. Similarly, many on the right find their true countrymen in populist movements of Europe, rather than in the domestic comments section of Salon.com.
What has resulted is a sort of psychic gerrymandering. This being a compartmentalization tool at which Americans are highly adept. For visualization, here is Maryland’s amusingly configured third congressional district.
Such political Picasso sketches are not at all uncommon, and exist to put similar people in the same silo despite their physical separation. This is what’s happening in multi-cultural America: an implicit national gerrymandering. The left is extending its branch of countrymen toward the equator, as the right (much less openly and enthusiastically) does to Europe and Russia. The fact of which should remind us yet again that real national borders exist in men, not on maps. I like to think our friends in Helsinki would agree.