(’76 Editor) Two important articles published recently, along with a classic from the early Reagan years, remind us how deep and grave are the pathologies threatening American self-government—and map out the fundamental change of thinking we must achieve as conservatives if our country is not to go the way of Rome or Britain.
Contemporary writers Jeff Bergner and Matthew Spalding in recent weeks have echoed the insights of Stan Evans, Bill Buckley’s compatriot in the 1980s, warning that the fateful options we face are to understand the soul of America either as unlimited government seeking a coercive utopia (the liberal or progressive vision), or as limited government wherein freely choosing individuals can order their own lives (the Founders’ vision).
It goes so much deeper than just arguing over who’s up and who’s down in the polls, how to keep entitlements and the deficit in hand, and whether Democrats or Republicans should win the next election. Underlying those superficial matters is the question of what self-government really means—and whether Americans are still capable of it.
If you love our country and want to be part of saving and renewing it, I urge you to study these three profound diagnoses:
Can Republicans Govern? Not Unless They Change ‘The Narrative’
By Jeff Bergner, The Weekly Standard, Feb. 8, 2010
A Republic, If You Want It: The Left’s Overreach Invites the Founders’ Return
By Matthew Spalding, National Review, Feb. 8, 2010
Unlearning the Liberal History Lesson
By M. Stanton Evans, Imprimis (Hillsdale College), March 1980