Obama's Bankrupt Public Philosophy
Peter Lawler is Dana Professor of Government and former chair of the department of Government and International Studies at Berry College. He serves as executive editor of the journal Perspectives on Political Science, and has been chair of the politics and literature section of the American Political Science Association. He also served on the editorial board of the new bilingual critical edition of Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, and serves on the editorial boards of several journals. He has written or edited fifteen books and over 200 articles and chapters in a wide variety of venues. He was the 2007 winner of the Weaver Prize in Scholarly Letters.\r\n\r\nLawler served on President Bush's Council on Bioethics from 2004 – 09. His most recent book, Modern and American Dignity, is available from ISI Books.\r\n\r\nFollow him on Twitter @peteralawler.
So here's a contribution to a symposium on our president that I wrote in the form of advice. An excerpt follows:
Maybe our president can fend off creeping Tea-Partyism only by becoming realistic about what’s genuinely possible in our time. So far, Obama has been amazingly tone deaf to the concerns of ordinary Americans, and his party has become the more elitist of the two. That’s one reason among many that admirable populism is morphing in the direction of an excessive libertarianism. The advantage will go to the party or leader that shows Americans the kind of social sustainability–the right combination of chastened (perhaps more means-tested) entitlements and genuine individual opportunity–that they can believe in.