R. Emmett Tyrrell
LONDON — There is the musty smell of a police state here in old London, or should I say an inchoate police state? The present mayor, Sadiq Khan, is of the left, and he shares the left's lust for power. Everything he does indicates his hankering for power. To me, a foreigner in these parts, I sense this lust in his treatment of the automobile. The mayor envisages London as a city abundant with bicycle riders and pedestrians. In his London of the future, the only automobiles will be the patrol cars of the police.
LAS VENTAS, MADRID — I am supposedly on holiday in Madrid. I take a break from politics, from public policy, from culture, and take in life in the country. In Spain that means the bullfight. Las Ventas is the major league in Spanish bullfighting, and I am not disappointed in what I see. These are fine bullfighters and ferocious bulls, though I wish Spaniards would give more consideration to the safety of the bulls. This evening, I saw six bulls slain and two bulls pull up lame. At least those lame bulls did not taste the sword.
WASHINGTON -- Over the weekend in the Wall Street Journal, Brian Lamb, the founder of C-Span, tendered a Solomonic statement in his valedictory interview after some 40 years before the television cameras. Said Lamb, “Lying is the word that I would use to describe this town.” And he went on, “I don't know if it will ever stop. It's gotten worse rather then getting better, and both sides do it.
WASHINGTON — Have you heard the good news? Large numbers of students worldwide are going to be skipping school on Fridays until they educate us on the perils of global warming. Moreover, they “are declaring the era of American climate change denialism over.” Those are the words of Alexandria Villasenor, who is 13 years old. She was addressing a crowd in front of the United Nations building in New York City.
WASHINGTON -- Do you remember when rock 'n' roll took its turn for the worse? It was sometime in the 1960s when Bob Dylan and those in his thrall began singing songs about politics. Next came songs about our health. Soon it was songs about politics, our health and Eastern mysticism. By the time the rock 'n' rollers had moved on to vegetarianism and global warming, I had given up on rock 'n' roll, and the rock 'n' rollers were -- let me add -- expiring from ghastly diseases and drug overdoses and, I am sure, suicide.
WASHINGTON — It had to happen. The United States of America has been the most desirable piece of real estate to inhabit for more than 200 years. It was only a matter of time before outsiders took note of our open borders to the north and the south and decided to enter without proper documentation. Those borders have been sparsely patrolled. And so, they entered by the thousands, probably by the millions, some bringing garbage, as commentator Tucker Carlson recently observed, others bringing criminal records, virtually none bringing documents attesting to their legal entry. What was to be done?
WASHINGTON -- Homelessness is up for the second year in a row. That is no surprise to me. I spent the last few days in New York City, where it seems the homeless are as numerous as the tourists. They are everywhere. Not that they are not numerous in our nation's capital, too. I returned to Washington by the train, and there are areas of Union Station that are as populated with homeless people as the nearby shelter. The scenes are appalling. What can be done for these poor wretches?
WASHINGTON -- Now that America has had its holiday from politics, we can get back to poking one another in the eye, and otherwise breaking the rules of decorum for the ladies and gentlemen of public life. Our holiday from politics was occasioned by the death of George Herbert Walker Bush, as fine a gent as has entered public life in decades. Every testimonial delivered to him last week was deserved, save one.
WASHINGTON -- On Nov. 10, the conservative movement lost a giant: Herbert London, a Renaissance man, a scholar steeped in the Great Books tradition, a principled politician and a warm, personal friend of mine. I am running out of friends such as Herb. When I say he was a giant, he was 6 feet, 5 inches tall, led his high school basketball team to a city championship in New York City, and played ball well enough for Columbia College to be recruited by the NBA.
WASHINGTON -- Forty years ago this past Sunday, more than 900 men, women and children killed themselves or were murdered in Jonestown, Guyana. Geography buffs will note that Jonestown is just east of Venezuela, where yet another crazed left-wing experiment is being played out today, though on a much larger scale. And hence, the prospect of death on an even grander scale is still possible in that once prosperous country.
WASHINGTON -- Well, it is not all bad news! Official Washington has unveiled its presidential candidate for 2020, and he will be every bit as effective as the Democrats running for the House of Representatives and the Senate were yesterday. He was chosen by official Washington's kingmaker this past Sunday on the op-ed page of The New York Times, Maureen Dowd. He is 81 years old, and he will be 83 when he enters office.
WASHINGTON -- Last week, upon the arrest of this wretched man, Cesar Sayoc, I heard some good news. Within hours of his arrest, commentators on all sides admitted that, "Enough is enough." Let the recriminations subside. There will be no more virulent charges against the left or the right. Even President Donald Trump seemed to agree, and in his public appearances I detected a note of munificence. He was stepping forward as president of all the people.