Magazine July 27, 2020, Issue

Immigration and Our National Crisis of Confidence

Emigration to America, by Charles Volkmar (Ann Ronan Pictures/Print Collector/Getty Images)
We still have what the world wants

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

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This article appears as “E Pluribus Unum” in the July 27, 2020, print edition of National Review.

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Yuval Levin is the director of social, cultural, and constitutional studies at the American Enterprise Institute and the editor of National Affairs.

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