Tom Bethell’s essay on “The Divided States of America” (TAS, April 2014) reminds us once again of the primordial differences in attitudes toward government and freedom in this country.
In his book Albion’s Seed, David Hackett Fischer outlined the cultural assumptions of the four main ethnic groups that settled the American colonies. What’s important for our politics is their different ideas about freedom.
The South had two groups intensely jealous of their own rights but rather blasé about the rights of others. Puritan New England was settled by people who believed in controlling themselves and their neighbors, intricately regulating their communities, and cherishing the right of local government to do this. Between were the Quakers who were more mutual, believing that rights must be the same for all, and trying to govern by consensus.
Today we see the cultural descendants of the Puritans and Southerners as blue and red states on our political maps. One might think that a pluralistic society like America could live in peace and mutual respect, following the example of the Quakers and seeking consensus—as opposed to simple-majority politics or judicial fiat—on divisive social issues. However, this approach is inconsistent with Evangelical Progressivism, which compels the descendants of the Puritans to impose their will on the whole country.
God save us from the Progressives’ lust for power.
Joel A. Eaton
Thanks for welcoming young Gutfeld to the Hall of Hilarious and Deep Thinkers at TAS.
The way Gutfeld pokes fun at the pinheads and poseurs who mourned the death of Chavez (“Why Liberals Love Dead Commies,” TAS, April 2014) and praised the passing of Thatcher is truly delightful. I’m not sure which is my favorite line:
“Why do we have champions of tolerance asking that we tolerate those who traffic in intolerance?”; or “the obvious hole in their respective souls drives them to embrace the world’s worst ghouls”; or “if you swim in the sewer, you’re going to come out stinky.”
Rock on, Gutfeld. Rock on. I like the dig about Maroon 5 at the end of the piece. But your line about how Chavez mourners Sean Penn, Oliver Stone, Jimmy Carter, and Joe Kennedy were the worst set of four since the last Who reunion was misplaced. C’mon, man!