The manifold attacks on America’s way of life in our time have resulted in a crisis of confidence that distorts our politics. Both the Left and the Right, in different ways, have been casting the American experience in terms of victimhood and weakness, too often leaving us blind to the country’s great strengths and to the resources at our disposal to address public problems. This vacuum of self-confidence invites failures of self-government. The immigration debate offers perhaps the clearest instance of the deformation that results from this dynamic. But for that very reason, it might also offer a way back …
This article appears as “E Pluribus Unum” in the July 27, 2020, print edition of National Review.
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