Americans today are frustrated and anxious. Our economy is sluggish and leaves workers insecure. Income inequality, cultural divisions, and political polarization increasingly pull us apart. Our governing institutions often seem paralyzed. And our politics has failed to rise to these challenges. No wonder, then, that Americans - and the politicians who represent them - are overwhelmingly nostalgic for a better time.
"Started out strong but finished weak"
In The Great Debate, Yuval Levin explores the origins of the Left-Right divide by examining the views of the men who best represented each side of that debate at its outset: Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine. In a groundbreaking exploration of the roots of our political order, Levin shows that American partisanship originated in the debates over the French Revolution, fueled by the fiery rhetoric of these ideological titans.
"an argument within liberalism?"
This election cycle has left many Americans worried about the state of our republic. Vast swathes of the citizenry are clearly frustrated, dissatisfied, and increasingly alienated from the political system. The major parties’ primary processes have yielded a nightmare of a general election, featuring two exceedingly unpopular candidates, each of whom exhibits some mind-boggling character problems.
Liberal dogma limits the solutions Democrats can offer most Americans.
The past year has highlighted many problems with the ways conservatives tend to approach the broader public - including Republican voters. A lot of these problems come down to two kinds of failure: On one hand are failures to take seriously some key public concerns, and on the other are failures to articulate some key conservative priorities. The combination has meant that conservatives have sold themselves short as sources of solutions to what ails America.