Back to the Bull Moose

Sent this comment to the blog digital emunction just now :

"People gen­er­ally on the left (as in this post) wonder at the seem­ing dis­junct between Amer­i­can qui­etism & the impov­er­ish­ment of the middle class of recent decades. But there is a basic con­ser­v­a­tivism in Amer­i­can expe­ri­ence which has to do with the desire of indi­vid­u­als & fam­i­lies to manage & dis­trib­ute their own wealth, the pros­per­ity & well-​being they have labored at them­selves. This is at the root of the idea that “the best gov­ern­ment is that which gov­erns least.” Now those on the left may mock this posi­tion, as deluded-​sucker false con­scious­ness; but there it is – the basis of the dis­junct.

Some­body will figure out a con­vinc­ing cen­trist vision – some­thing like Pop­ulism or TR Pro­gres­sivism. Because the solu­tion is not in some economist’s math­e­mat­i­cal pro­jec­tions or sta­tis­tics; the solu­tion is in Amer­i­can soci­ety as a whole, making a com­mit­ment, with con­fi­dence, to a new sense of a shared common good. It’s not down with cap­i­tal­ism; it’s up with fair­ness & good gov­er­nance (TR’s trust-​busting as one exam­ple).

Part of the prob­lem is that Tocqueville’s repub­lic began with town­ship democ­racy. Vil­lage self-​governance is hard to trans­late to the scale of con­tem­po­rary nation-​states. But this is the exper­i­ment we must take ahold of, with… gusto… !"

(p.s. in this regard, see my "Teddy in the Amazon jungle" poems in Rest Note.)

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