Subscribing to your magazine has been an event in my life. It is surely intellectually challenging to me, meaning I don’t know exactly where you stand. I thought you were far right and impishly mailed a copy on the New World Order to a friend who claims to be a socialist and gets angry about prosperous patricians and the suffering poor. My friend was elated by the issue. I sent a gift subscription to another friend who is an immigrant and a culture lover. His comments implied that you are cultured, yes, but also political.

To be fair, I wanted to praise you before I get picky. Bill Kauffman (“The Anti-American Century,” August) describes Sen. John McCain as a military brat born in the Panama Canal Zone. The U.S. Constitution requires a president to be native-born, but the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act of 1952 laid down the rules for U.S. citizenship of people born in the Canal Zone. It gave those with at least one American parent a claim to U.S. citizenship, but the person had to “elect” to be an American, even if both parents were American. One example is Bishop McGrath of Panama, whose mother was Panamanian. He chose to travel to the United States on a Panamanian passport. (I know, I signed his visa.) Which gets me to an important point which Mr. Kauffman did not raise: Why (or perhaps, How) is Senator McCain running for president of the United States?

Thank you for a magazine that stretches my mind. Your predilection for French expressions doesn’t slow me down, but the German is gibberish although I was in the Occupation.

        —Francis H. Barrett
Fernandina Beach, FL

Mr. Kauffman Replies:

Good question. Citizenship law is gibberish to me, but McCain’s foreign birth is one of many reasons to vote against this Serb-killing, skirt-chasing, staff-abusing, Keating-servicing, rootless blowhard and pin-up boy of the New York Times.