Well now… a large part of the essay was bringing the forgotten writing of George Kennan back into the conversation, and then interpreting current events in that context… Do you have anything of substance to add to that part of the conversation?

I’d also like to hear exactly how it is anyone is “selling out” to Russia. The point behind bringing Kennan’s writing into the mix is to show that there is an internal logic to Russian thinking that is clear to them, but murky to us because our world views are so different. Is trying to understand them “selling out”? Will you be signing up to fight in the next war with Russia if we fail to at least try to understand them?

I jumped around your other writings and notice you identify as a Hillary Clinton Democrat. Fair enough. You seem to bring up white privilege quite often. I think there is an important kernel of truth in noticing that those who belong to the socially and economically dominant majority do not encounter the same barriers minorities do. But you folks take that and draw all kinds of unwarranted conclusions. I have lived in Asia. I am a white male, and in Asia I am noticed as different. And being noticed as different, day in and day out, is quite frankly oppressive. It leaves you craving to be able to move about without being noticed. But that is simply an unfortunate function of nature; it does not make Asians my oppressors.

My wife is Asian. When we travel to various parts of the U.S., we are “noticed.” There are two kinds of “looks.” There is the novelty look. (“We don’t see that in these parts very often.”) And there is the affront look. (“You should stick to your own kind, son.”). The former is, again, a function of nature; we reflexively notice things which are different than we are used to seeing. The latter is the vestige of evil racism. If you are not in a bi-racial marriage, you have never experienced either of these looks. Does this not mean you enjoy “homo-racial marital privilege”?

It is important to at least try to notice the “invisible barriers” minorities face. But you can then take the kernel of truth here and build out a whole intellectual scaffolding for the politics of victimhood. There’s no end to the foolishness when doing better in school that someone else means you enjoy “cognitive privilege.”

But anyway… I think there is a legitimate core desire here to constantly try to do better at seeing American life through the eyes of those who run up against barriers we, simply by being in the majority and being human — will tend not to see. If that’s the core of your being a Hillary Clinton Democrat, good for you. We’ll certainly disagree on a lot of, if not most, things. But I’ll make the principled choice to refrain from the temptation to deligitimize what I disagree with by name calling.

Perhaps you would consider making that same choice?

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I am a charter member of the pocket-protector set, but old enough to make fun of them and otherwise have a healthy skepticism of tech. https://goo.gl/2z5Snr

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