Today, I would guard against making the opposite error to the one espoused at Peter’s dinner, namely reading into this election the demise of the pioneer spirit and the victory of big government. Rugged individualism remains a strand in our politics, just as left-liberal collectivism does. The long-term trend seems to favor the latter strand. But events, some predictable and some not, will have their say.
This short piece by Paul Mirengoff is worth reading. It's important not to read too much into this election. It might be the beginning of the end of any actually limited government in the US, and a big step forward to a transformed (not sure what to call it) sort of corporatist version of social democracy, or might not be. It might be a sign that our public sphere is deconstructing itself into some sort of weird place of fragmented and irrational not even conversations (it was a pretty discouraging campaign, full of lies and special interest appeals), which would be a shame, since I am just starting to get interested in the whole notion of public reason. Maybe that's a hopelessly quaint concept. I suppose it had to be the case that if I ever just manage to get through Kant, our civilization (sic) will be well and truly done with all of that high minded stuff. --TS