Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A place where conservatives are stupid

National Review's Jay Nordlinger

One thing I’ve noticed about this [Democratic] convention — it’s impossible not to — is that America is portrayed as a deeply suffering place ...

By the way, you know the story about the man from Calcutta, decades ago, whose greatest desire was to visit America? "Why?" asked his friends. "Because I want to see a place where poor people are fat."

Using The Google quickly reveals this to be a hoary old chestnut, but here's the most concrete recent source: Dinesh D’Souza, also in National Review, before he had a big falling out with his conservative friends over his even more conservative views --

They arrived at the same perception that I witnessed in an acquaintance of mine from Bombay who has been unsuccessfully trying to move to the United States. I asked him, "Why are you so eager to come to America?" He replied, "I really want to live in a country where the poor people are fat."

Notice how the tale has gone from some random person in Calcutta to an actual friend of one particular National Reviewer. This has urban myth written all over it. The quote, that is. As for the claim that poor people are fat, there are many ways to go with that one. Such as by taking it at face value and noting what it says about the price-quality relationship for food and the state of America's healthcare system.

No comments: