In this era of jungle journalism, it is a rarity to find a conservative columnist such as George Will pronouncing a progressive senator such as Sherrod Brown, of Ohio, as worthy of respect and a shot at being president of the United States. While I don’t share Will’s views on myriad issues, I very much respect his ability to express them in cogent, thoughtful prose and consistently profess the real values of conservatism, as opposed to the monkey business professed in the U.S. House and Senate by members of his party.

Somewhere in the relatively recent darkness of political thought in the United States, we have become battered with pronouncements left and right that cater to the base of both parties, which, by and large, are oblivious to the realities of present-day life.

For example, immigration reform is argued and fussed about ad infinitum. My grandfather was an illegal undocumented immigrant who got to Canada without a passport, since he departed from Ireland — then a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. He walked across the border from Canada and made his way to Pittsburgh, where my family had its American origins. Five years later, he became a naturalized U.S. citizen.

It is certainly conceivable that the relative ease of his gaining citizenship was based on the color of his skin.

It is some comfort that, historically, we have outgrown aspects of racism and stupidity in our politics. It is, however, of no comfort that we entertain such extreme views in an age where we have advanced so far in science, economics and political thought.

Would that the extremists of both parties lay down their pens and keyboards and think through the logic of their disquisitions.

Bob Crowley


New Orleans