The Gathering Storm
James Hitchcock on the Transformative Election of 2016The 2016 election is one of the most crucial in American history, its results likely to reverberate for decades and to transform the character of American society permanently. But those who look upon this prospect with dread can do little to prevent it.
The Democratic party is now committed to the final consolidation of the authority of the liberal welfare state over every aspect of human life, with "welfare" defined not merely as economic aid to the needy but as governmentally enacted "solutions" to every kind of "problem."
In theory, liberalism espouses a philosophical relativism in which there can be no certain truth and which therefore brands moral absolutists as dangerous and irrational. But in practice, liberalism has itself become a creed with infallible teachings. Liberals do not encourage robust debate but rather quickly define the orthodox position on every subject, then promote it relentlessly.
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James Hitchcock is Professor emeritus of History at St. Louis University in St. Louis. He and his late wife Helen have four daughters. His most recent book is the two-volume work, The Supreme Court and Religion in American Life (Princeton University Press, 2004). He is a senior editor of Touchstone.
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