Recent links of note:
“The End of Identity Liberalism”
Mark Lilla, The New York Times
It should be no surprise that a college professor, rather than a politician or journalist, is among the first liberals to call for an end to identity politics in the aftermath of this month’s election. As a professor at Columbia University—with the Herculean task of teaching the humanities to first- and second-year students, no less—Mark Lilla has experienced the way by which the Left’s focus on diversity and privilege has stifled young people’s capacity to conceive of politics in any other way. Lilla suggests that Democrats like Hillary Clinton have traded the persuasion that comes from describing America’s common culture for the thin inspiration of “celebrating our differences”—losing the confidence of whites as well as many minorities in the process. As a solution, Lilla proposes that liberals adopt a rhetoric of unification and policies that address middle-class concerns. As both parties struggle to redefine themselves, the next election may be won by whichever party is first to take that recommendation seriously.
“The Desolate Wilderness” “And the Fair Land”
The Wall Street Journal
Each year on the eve of Thanksgiving, the editors of The Wall Street Journal republish a pair of editorials about the founding and the character of the American nation (a welcome relief from endless articles about prepping turkeys, etc.). “The Desolate Wilderness” is drawn from an excerpt of William Bradford’s account of the pilgrims’ voyage in 1619, and “And the Fair Land” follows up with musings about the great nation that sprung out of that voyage, written by the Journal editors of 1961. The central message of the pair of editorials is one of reassurance: the grave problems that America faced in the Sixties—and those that we face today—could surely be overcome if we remembered and enacted the grit that our forefathers showed when they first carved this country out of the wilderness.