March 20, 2002

A POLITY WITHOUT A LEFT IS LIKE ABBOTT WITHOUT COSTELLO : Searching for a Better Left : Since September 11, a handful of leftists have undertaken the project of looki

Human history can, in fact, largely be seen as nothing more than the struggle between this urge and the equally vital desire for freedom (which is represented by the Right). In America, at least, we have been well served by having two (and only two) political parties that enunciate very distinct political visions based on these two competing principles. For most of our history the Right has prevailed, but the Left has offered a clear and coherent counterargument and eventually came to power in 1932. Just because the Left failed so completely in its attempt to govern (FDR to Carter) it does not follow that it should merely recast itself as Right Lite, as Clinton tried to do.

The Left needs to go through the same kind of return to first principles that the Right underwent in the late 50s--leading to the rise of Goldwater and Reagan. They need to boldly rearticulate their core philosophy : a vast social welfare net; extensive government regulation; redistribution of wealth; etc. That may not be the path back to power, but it will once again offer voters a clear choice of governing philosophies, rather than the current choice between full-throated conservatism and a kind of grudging conservatism. We need a Choice, not an Echo.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 20, 2002 7:27 AM
Comments for this post are closed.