August 25, 2005

Some Advice From Buckley

Back in 2001, William F. Buckley had some advice for China's ambassador, who was invited to a lunch which turned into what, under the circumstances, was a public humiliation session. This was his suggestion:

... One picture showed 21-year-old George W. standing alongside a fighter plane in Texas when he served in the Texas Air National Guard. The comment was, "I'm the one who committed the state of Texas to defend Taiwan from attack."

That brought a roar of laughter from everyone, but not from Yang Jiechi, no sirree. He sat frozen in his chair, his features coldly set in resolute disapproval. One has to wonder: Would it have been reported to Peking if the ambassador had actually laughed? It was a nice political joke, but reminded us that totalitarians can't take a joke. Ogden Nash wrote 60 years ago that if Germans had merely paused for one minute to view themselves goose-stepping, arms upraised, declaiming Heil Hitler! what would have happened would be a national convulsion of self-derisive mirth, which is always to be preferred to a world war. ...

Can we get a convulsion of self-derisive mirth in this country, pronto?

Posted by natasha at August 25, 2005 12:50 AM | US Politics | Technorati links |