🎧 | Samuel Goldman and Yascha Mounk discuss the need to restore a shared American pride.
I agree with Goldman's concluding remarks that the divisiveness seen among our citizens is being driven at least in part by broken government institutions, rather than the other way around, and that by centralizing too much authority in our national government - particularly its executive branch - we have fueled the sense that every political conflict between the right and left is an existential one. Ironically, both Goldman and Mounk fail to conclude that the solution to this divide will not be found with more government; perhaps it will be found with less. Further, their discussion fails to identify the one truly American value that binds all of our people together and in the end gives birth to a solution to our institutional problems, and that is freedom. First, freedom from a strong centralized government; freedom from censorship of our ideas and words by public and private agencies, and freedom to live the lives of our choosing. America is unique among our fellow nations in our attempts to accomplish these things as a primary and existential priority, and we do so while pursing equality and equity, however failingly, across our patchwork of American sub-cultures. Goldman is also correct in calling for a renewed commitment to our system of federalism with its attendant states' rights, and to local governmental and private association efforts to bolster our sense of community and arbitrate our interactions with one another.
I agree with Sam Goldman that Congress is a key to making our differences a source of what might be called constructive patriotism. Right now, unfortunately, both parties seem bent on amplifying the kind of yelling that characterizes social media, undermining in the process a constructive sense of who we are as a people. Patriotism, after all, is in the end a source of positive or negative outcomes. Who serves in Congress is a product of our choices and for that reason I would support federal legislation that would mandate a non-partisan primary system for the selection of congressional candidates (House and Senate) in which the top two finishers in the primary would face off in the general election; there seems to be good evidence that this kind of system encourages more centrist candidates and would make office-seekers left beholden to the more extreme voices in both parties.