How to Preserve the American Experiment

Here’s my sense of the American zeitgeist at the moment.

There is no fervor to embrace the neoliberalism that drives the GOP donor class. Nor is there a tsunami of support for the social democracy that Bernie champions.

Folks by and large are not gun fetishists, but they understand that guns have a place in some lives, especially in rural areas.

A majority of Americans think abortion neither should be banned nor should be unregulated, especially in the later stages of pregnancy.

The DACA Dreamers should be made welcome, but the country can’t afford a completely open door.

Free trade is good, but its downsides should be addressed. The Democrats are right to insist on a society free of prejudice, but in their condemnations they paint with too broad a brush.

And so on.

What the country needs is a leader or set of leaders able to rally the folks with these views, getting them to the polls and forcing to the sidelines the single-issue ideologues and all-or-nothing crowd who, it sometimes seems, would rather have a dictator who agrees with them right down the line than a messy democracy in which the constantly must settle for half a loaf.

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