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Opinion
Ramesh Ponnuru

Great Replacement Theory Is a Grand Delusion

Liberals have hoped and Republicans have feared that the politics of immigration would give Democrats the upper hand. Reality is proving different.

It’s not a conspiracy.

It’s not a conspiracy.

Photographer: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

When a killer expounds on his derangements, it poses a special challenge. We have to take his words seriously without, at the same time, taking them seriously; to understand their import without paying them respect. In the case of the mass murderer of Buffalo, New York — I see no reason to use his name — applying that distinction requires thinking more clearly about the politics of immigration.

Since the massacre on Saturday, Americans have been talking, as the shooter probably wanted, about the “great replacement theory.” The 200-proof version of the theory, to which he reportedly subscribed, is that Jews are trying to destroy the old White majority of the country via immigration, and they are doing it to create a political order more to their liking. It is a vile and stupid stew of racism and anti-Semitism, as should be obvious to almost everyone.