What is the West?
Jay W. Cobb

Can we Reclaim a More Perfect Union?

Jay, I do believe this is a debate that is sorely needed. Not between the dichotomy of blood and ideas, but within Liberal ideology itself. No living ideology can survive without adapting to it’s changing environment.

The founding of this country and it’s Western intellectual heritage is represented by the ideology of Classical Liberalism and it’s growth out of the enlightenment. Our founding fathers sought to establish a union, but they were antithetical to the idea of either a blood based monarchy or a fatherland.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

But is conservatism and it’s ideology seeking a more perfect Union today?

I was listening to Yasche Mounk’s podcast discussion with Anne Applebaum especially the section on Trump and his Russian connections. It is fairly obvious that Trump should feel comfortable with Russia. He does business with and travels in the same social circles as Russian oligarchs. His gilded residences look like those of the Russian oligarchs. How comfortable are we today with Oligarchy? Does conservative ideology today seek a more perfect Union, or is it a little to comfortable with oligarchs and the political system they embody?

I always thought Marx had a pretty good analysis of the problems of capitalism, it was just that his presciptions were the equivalence of medieval bloodletting. But what about Classical Liberalism? Do we view capitalism through the eyes of a more perfect Union? Is capital more important than union?

It has been my contention that economic libertarianism has dominated and drowned out the wider ideas of the liberalism of our enlightenment heritage; a heritage that was recently viewed by much of the world as Reagan’s Shinning City. Can we defend economic libertarianism as a perfection of our Union or are we drifting toward the disunion of oligarchy? Look at the divisive nature of our politics. Is winning everything in spite of what it does to the hearts and minds of our people? Can politics win the hearts and minds in order to promote a more perfect union? If it can, it must dig deep into promoting our idiological heritage and reclaiming that shinning city that Trimp has so tarnished.