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Americans show civic virtue. But you have to get out of Washington to understand that.
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The Washington Post editorial page, mirabile dictu, has repeatedly blasted Democrats for inaction and demagoguery on Medicare and other matters. Sure, the Post remains editorially liberal (and its news pages and headlines are more liberal still), but it is the constructive and mostly fair-minded center-leftism that marked the New Republic during most of the 1990s. Somehow, the Post’s thoughtfulness seems to give hope that not all is lost, and that bipartisan statesmanship is at least possible.
For numerous reasons I meant to describe in this column — including some having much to do with national policy and politics — living in the D.C. area is, in quotidian ways, worse than ever. Yet this column, taking on a life of its own, won’t go there today. What this column, writing itself against my original intentions, wants to stress is that here in the hinterlands, we — all of you — do matter. State attorneys general, responding to the voters, are challenging Obamacare. Parents and charter school organizations are taking education into their own commonsensical hands. You, all who make time for real community action, are making Washington listen, and you are doing it with better humor than official Washington wants to credit you for.
A good and decent American people cares about its heritage of freedom. And if in Washington the politics is too much with everybody, late and soon, the truth is that the rest of the nation has proved it can fit productive politics a little more into its daily life of honest work and school carpools and soccer practices and church attendance. We all should continue to work politics — or, rather, to work good citizenship, which includes political volunteerism — into our lives, in the right (modest) doses and the right perspective.
“Who are the best keepers of the people’s liberties?” Madison asked in the National Gazette on Dec. 22, 1792 . He answered, “The people themselves. The sacred trust can be no where so safe as in the hands most interested in preserving it…. [T]he people ought to be enlightened, to be awakened, to be united, that after establishing a government they should watch over it, as well as obey it.”
As usual, Madison was right. Americans are proving him right anew, and out here away from the Beltway is just the right place to advance the sacred civic cause.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?