“Democracy, Immigration, Multiculturalism — Pick Any Two”

Jim Bennett posts some characteristically insightful thoughts on assimilation. I hope that his tag line catches on.

UPDATE: Commenter Brock credits the title phrase to Wretchard of The Belmont Club.

UPDATE2: Jim Bennett says he came up with the phrase on his own and has been using it since around 2001, which is before The Belmont Club existed as a blog. My search of Belmont Club’s last two sites turned up no instances of the phrase, but it’s possible that I didn’t search competently. It’s also possible that Wretchard came up with the phrase independently or that he read it first in one of Jim’s pieces. Either way, it’s a great line.

5 thoughts on ““Democracy, Immigration, Multiculturalism — Pick Any Two””

  1. The tagline is from Wretchard at Belmont Club, actually.

    Just want to make sure he get’s the credit. It’s a great line, and I hope it catches on too.

  2. I admire Wretchard and Belmont Club, and don’t doubt that he has used that line. But when I used it first in my UPI column (and without checking, I think I’ve been using it since 2001 or thereabouts) I coined it myself. I’m not sure Belmont Club has been going that long; the first blog I ever say was Instapundit, and that was like August 2001 — I think I used the phrase before that. It’s a fairly simple construction on the template of the common engineering phrase “fast, cheap, or good — pick any two.” That was said all the time at American Rocket Company, and probably anywhere that engineers work.

    Is there a first cite on Belmont Club’s use of the phrase?

  3. Terribly sorry for the mix-up. I did see it first at Belmont Club and thought that is was such a great line that I surely would have seen it passed around the blogs. Perhaps Wretchard did get it from Mr. Bennet, but I can’t say for sure.

    Also can’t find the post he said it in either, which is odd since I could have sworn it was only a couple days ago. Ah well, maybe I’m just losing my mind :-) Like I said, sorry for the confusion.

  4. No problem. I considered it a meme I released into the wild a long time ago. I’m glad it’s propogating. But it’s always nice to keep the record straight, even in minor things.

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