Mail Call


From an (academic) reader:


Just had to return your book to the library.  I am very frugal (as I have three children and a wife who stays home with the younger two).  We go to the library a lot.  One day I will own your book – but not today.

I did enjoy it immensely, however.  And here is a thought on it that I have not read elsewhere.  I come away from the book full of the promise and hope (sometimes I hate how this word is hijacked by politicians).  Here is why:  if Wilson, FDR, Kennedy, LBJ, and the fascist actions of some Republican presidents did not permanently screw up America, then even if Obama gets in the Oval Office, then maybe he will not be able to permanently screw things up.   May be I am a hopeless optimist, but I do have a realist streak in me.  I just really believe in the concept of America (of course, everyone’s concept of America is different).

Thanks and keep up the good work,


Me: First, thanks.

Second, no worries about borrowing the book from the library (I’ve been surprised by how common that still is). Though assigning it to your class would be appreciated!

Third, I agree. American exceptionalism is the key. Pat Moynihan’s observation that the key conservative insight is that culture matters more than politics still holds. This is a country that simply loves freedom or, put more cynically, it’s a country that hates being told what to do. That is the ultimate bulwark against fascism or any other statist ism. 


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