From An Angry Reader:
I was hopeful to find insightful conservative thought for a change, however I was disappointed to find yet another partisan albeit under the guise of an academic. Your ideas are not original nor interesting in terms of advancing our country. Instead, all of your work seems to revolve (devolve?) to the standard conservative playbook. The west is truly doomed if this is all our thinkers can come up is replacing old rightest ideas with old leftist ideas!
You provide the same old shtick and are not solving any problems. Your life must be really boring. Oh yeah, you are a historian. Of course.
Frustrated moderate engineer
Dear Angry Reader and frustrated moderate engineer Steve DiGrazia,
I am afraid that your disagreements are not really over ideas that are not original or do not serve the public interest, but largely your anger is because they conflict with you own—despite your self-described epithet “frustrated moderate engineer,” whatever that exactly means. The ideas expressed here are pretty centrist: smaller rather than larger government, lower rather than higher taxes, secure not open borders, the melting pot rather than the salad bowl, a tragic view of human nature, not one therapeutic, deterrence rather than appeasement, and so on.
But I fear your letter descends into incoherence—odd for an engineer who normally deals with laws, facts, and data. After lamenting that the above is the “old standard conservative playbook” you finish with “replacing old rightest ideas with old leftist ideas,” which makes no sense: I’d like to replace “old leftist ideas” with traditional ideas that have worked for centuries and do not lead to a Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, or North Korea. And just when I thought you scored a respectable 1 or 2 on the Angry Reader scale, you zoom up to a 5 with the inevitable ad hominem at the end: “Your life must be really boring. Oh yeah, you are a historian. Of course.”
Actually, I am blessed by living on a farm part of the week, and at Stanford the other few days: it gives one a scale by which to calibrate academic madness; in comparison to academics, farmers are mostly sane.