Several Democratic hopefuls have expressed the touching belief that pouring billions of dollars into Third World countries to build schools would help reduce anti-Americanism. John McWhorter says this is the wrong therapy:

“[Anti-Americanism] is a gut impulse. None of these people acquired their sentiments from a blackboard, nor could anything on it teach them to reverse their thinking. Indeed, recent actions by America have reinforced anti-Americanism abroad. But that sentiment was already there- it is as typical as a David vs. Goliath underdog orientation, sparked by events much less polarizing than Iraq and blazing out of proportion.

“To the extent that a sentiment so deeply wired can be undercut at all, school will be of little help. Students spend most of their lives outside of the classroom. It would seem that more promising strategies would be ones in which America helps to improve the daily lives of poor Third Worlders.

“How about- take a deep breath- eliminating the subsidies to American farmers that keep Third World farmers from being able to make a living selling their products? Or, how about admitting that Rachel Carson was wrong about DDT and restoring its use in African countries to help beat back the malaria epidemic? Then, a targeted effort to resolve the Darfur conflict would be crucial, especially given that, of late, there are small signs of hope there.”