It only seems like the latest immigration crisis hit by surprise, turning up suddenly on the U.S. border from someplace deep in the jungles of somewhere else.
In fact, the children’s exodus from Central America has been in the making for decades. It is coming from a region where the United States has been a major political and military player for more than half a century, and it has roots in U.S. streets and prisons. If these kids weren’t the ones suffering the worst of it, you might call them payback.
The week of July Fourth seems an odd time to release a film that questions the patriotism of the president of the United States, but that is precisely what right-wing idol Dinesh D’Souza sets out to do in his new film America: Imagine the World Without Her.
I wouldn’t ordinarily dignify such nonsense with a column, but America the movie exemplifies everything that’s wrong about the American political conversation these days, rich with examples from both left and right.
The great American composer and critic Virgil Thomson used to say that when he went to a concert, he didn’t listen to music. He listened for music.
That was a good way to approach the latest convention of Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition in Washington, D.C. There was music in the air, especially for those who still hope there is some common ground in our deeply divided republic, but you had to listen hard.
I learned what a trickster history can be 20 years ago at Hanoi airport. After everything the United States gave and lost in Vietnam while trying to keep it safe from Communism, who would have thought you would find the lion lying down with the lamb at a business convention? But there it was, capitalism in capital letters, a billboard advertising VIETNAMERICA EXPO!
Who won that war again?
Things like that change how you understand the world — if only by teaching you to wonder about even those things you think you know for an absolute fact.