CRB: What’s at stake

The new issue of the Claremont Review of Books is in the mail and, thanks to our friends at the Claremont Institute, I have read it in galley to select four articles and reviews to be submitted for the consideration of Power Line readers. I had a hard time choosing! You, however, can do your own choosing at the heavily subsidized price of $19.95 a year. At that price the CRB affords the most cost-effective political education available in the United States of America. Subscribe by clicking on Subscription Services at the link and get immediate online access thrown in for free.

William Voegeli is senior editor of the CRB and the author, most recently, of The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion, now more timely than ever. His previous book is Never Enough: America’s Limitless Welfare State, also now more timely than ever. He is a wise man.

I have chosen to lead off our preview of the issue with Bill’s essay “What’s at stake.” It’s a long essay that bears reading and rereading. It is witty and profound and perceptive. It is also, I am afraid, prescient in contemplating the future that awaits us under a Supreme Court with a majority of Democratic appointees.

Bill assesses the deep meaning of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Toward the end of the essay Bill considers the rise of Trump. Here he notes the “disillusioning effects of political futility.” He observes:

After some number of decades, it appears, Republican politicians who extol the sacred mission of limiting government, but never seem to try very hard—or at any rate, very consequentially—to actually limit government, leave their supporters wondering whether they would be better advised to support less quixotic crusades. When even the low-hanging fruit, like defunding the National Endowment for the Arts, is higher than any Republican ladder, it becomes difficult to keep believing that GOP victories are a matter of any real urgency. This state of affairs leaves Republicans arguing that the strongest case for their party is the need to make it more difficult for Democrats to do their worst. “Join the team committed to losing slowly,” however, isn’t much of a recruiting pitch.

I recommend the whole thing here.


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