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Kerry’s Wrong Address

May 11, 2016

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Kerry’s Wrong Address

There’s been a lot of talk about Trump as the so-called “alt-right” candidate, but he’s actually been running an “alt-center” campaign, staking out positions that are controversial because they dissent in a commonsensical fashion from the increasingly bizarre mainstream globalist ideology.

One of the striking side effects of the Trump phenomenon is how he encourages more respectable sorts to attempt to articulate their establishment principles, which, when spelled out, turn out to be terrifying in their implications.

There are genuine concerns about a President Trump’s garrulousness disrupting sleeping-dog foreign policies by stating out loud something that’s usually best kept diplomatically hushed up. For example, ever since Nixon went to China, Washington and Beijing officially agree that China and Taiwan have a single legitimate government; they just agree not to specify which one. This is kind of stupid (obviously, China and Taiwan are separate countries). But it’s also kind of brilliant in that 44 years of peace have gone by.

And yet, consider what the current secretary of state just said.

John F. Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee in 2004, recently delivered Northeastern University’s commencement address. His artless enunciation of today’s elite conventional wisdom of Invade the World/Invite the World offered Americans a glance at the coming dystopian nightmare their leaders are complacently expecting them to smilingly welcome.

The world today is organized around the principle of nationalism, with which Trump identifies. All land except the South Pole and (on paper) the West Bank and the Golan Heights is divided up under the dominion of territorial states. Perhaps this isn’t ideal, but it is the way the world works. Everybody more or less controls their own territory.

“Kerry decided to spell out just why Trump is wrong, giving the rest of us a look into the nightmares that the American establishment finds appealing.”

And the world works relatively well under the current order. Interstate wars have been decreasing, in part because borders are (finally) reasonably well established and enduring.

In particular, Americans benefit from their ancestors having carved out a huge chunk of temperate land protected by oceans from the teeming masses of the Old World.

And yet, fashionable opinion in America is increasingly hostile toward the very existence of borders, which provide the essential building blocks of peace and prosperity.

How would the world work without borders? Nobody knows, other than that billionaires would probably do better than ordinary Americans. But that doesn’t cause much reflection upon the part of establishment icons.

Kerry began his speech by winning easy applause by praising the Northeastern graduating class’ diversity:

Now, graduating class, I got to tell you, you really do look spectacular. I want you to—I mean, just look around you. Classmates of every race, religion, gender, shape, size—85 countries represented and dozens of languages spoken. You are the most diverse class in Northeastern’s history—in other words, you are Donald Trump’s worst nightmare. [Applause]

But then Kerry decided to spell out just why Trump is wrong, giving the rest of us a look into the nightmares that the American establishment finds appealing.

First, though, to understand Kerry’s speech, keep in mind that Northeastern is a seventh-tier Boston-area private college that appeals to international students who grasp that Boston is academically prestigious, but who don’t quite understand where Northeastern falls in the Boston pecking order (traditionally behind Harvard, MIT, Tufts, Boston College, Brandeis, and Boston University).

America’s colleges these days love international students (for example, over a quarter of Northeastern’s students, 4,775, are foreign) because they can charge them list price ($182,120 for four years). Northeastern’s endowment is only 2 percent of Harvard’s, so it’s desperate for rich foreign students who will pay full fare.

In contrast, many American applicants expect to receive financial aid (i.e., discounts off the rack rate), a tradition that emerged in the 20th century when American institutions were expected to stand by their fellow citizens, rather than to simply lecture them on the globalist imperative.

Receiving financial aid on college tuition is one of the bigger tangible benefits of being an American citizen, as is emphasized by the advertising for birth tourism businesses that help Chinese deliver anchor babies in the United States. Chinese nationals will deposit their pregnant womenfolk in Southern California for months so that their scions can qualify for American college financial aid in 18 years.

You might think that this remaining privilege accruing to American citizens would be denounced as discriminatory. After all, policies favoring Americans are more and more portrayed as a violation of foreigners’ civil rights. But instead, it’s simply not discussed much in public because the right to charge foreigners more than Americans benefits universities.

The secretary of state declared:

So I think that everything that we’ve lived and learned tells us that we will never come out on top if we accept advice from sound-bite salesmen and carnival barkers who pretend the most powerful country on earth can remain great by looking inward and hiding behind walls at a time that technology has made that impossible to do and unwise to even attempt…. You’re about to graduate into a complex and borderless world.

Do Americans really want a “borderless world”? Has anybody asked the voters?

You might think that protecting and preserving the national borders is a duty of America’s senior Cabinet officer. After all, America has rather desirable boundaries.

But that’s not how many leading American statesmen describe their goals in the 21st century.

For instance, the “ultimate wisdom of a borderless world” was the message of a speech given by former president Bill Clinton in Australia on Sept. 10, 2001, according to an article that appeared the next morning in Melbourne’s The Age under the headline “Open Borders to All.” Now, you might think that was bad timing, but it actually turned out lucky for the Clintons because in all the excitement of the next day, the lunacy of Bill’s call was forgotten.

To make the Americans in the audience feel better about their onrushing borderlessness, Kerry reminded them of the benefits of globalism they had already enjoyed:

And many of you were in elementary school when you learned the toughest lesson of all on 9/11. There are no walls big enough to stop people from anywhere, tens of thousand miles away, who are determined to take their own lives while they target others.

Obviously, that’s a factually disingenuous recounting of 9/11. Mohamed Atta & Co. didn’t scale a giant wall to get onto American domestic airliners, they were instead welcomed by officials who had been repeatedly warned by George W. Bush about the evils of profiling jittery Arab terrorist-looking guys.


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