The Hollow Republic

I think Yuval Levin finally nails down what I was trying to say in my first take-down of Obama’s Roanoke speech:

The president simply equates doing things together with doing things through government. He sees the citizen and the state, and nothing in between — and thus sees every political question as a choice between radical individualism and a federal program.

But most of life is lived somewhere between those two extremes, and American life in particular has given rise to unprecedented human flourishing because we have allowed the institutions that occupy the middle ground — the family, civil society, and the private economy — to thrive in relative freedom.

This difference of opinion about mediating institutions is no trifling matter. It gets at a profound and fundamental difference between the Left and the Right. The Left tends to believe that the great advantage of our liberal society is that it enables the application of technical knowledge that can make our lives better, and that this knowledge can overcome our biggest problems. This is the technocratic promise of progressivism. The Right tends to believe that the great advantage of our liberal society is that it has evolved to channel deep social knowledge through free institutions — knowledge that often cannot be articulated in technical terms but is the most important knowledge we have. For the Left, therefore, the mediating institutions (and at times even our constitutional forms) are obstacles to the application of liberal knowledge. For the Right, the mediating institutions (and our constitutional forms) are the embodiment of liberal knowledge.

Go forth and read the whole thing!

The Hollow Republic

More from Bill Whittle

This one never made it to our blog, but I think it deserves some screen-time, just because it makes me giggle.

Halftime for Obama

You can sum up Obama’s term thus far with one word.


And this one goes right to my comments from yesterday regarding American desire and its’ dissipation from our cultural fabric:

A Nation of Desire

If Whittle wanted to run for office, he’d have my vote…this guy is not only a brilliant debater and amongst the most confident and emotionally-controlled (yet emotionally driven) people I’ve ever seen speak…he’s also a throwback to a time when it was OK to love your country and be proud of all we’ve accomplished.