Those of you who have seen the film Fargo have the wood chipper scene indelibly seared into your memory. (If you have not seen Fargo please remedy this deficiency promptly.) I return to the scene at the end of this piece.
Walter Russell Mead, a recovering liberal, has crafted a crude ode to purported German national character and insult to purported French national character. The defective purported national character of the French is leavened with equally crude stereotypes of the purported superior religious character of Huguenots and Jews. It is all set within a broader, cruder attack on purported ethnic “Latin” character. Mead’s piece ran in opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal, which embraces these prejudices and considers them the height of intellect.