On February 1 of this year Charles Kesler delivered what I think is clear enough and responsible enough a description of the modern liberal error and what is happening in American politics today that it really should be read by as many people as possible.
He calls it The New New Deal.
I would put it this way: nobody believes in truth anymore, so all we have is perspectives and interpretations. Therefore, there is no moral way to limit the powers of the state.
Kesler put it in a more nuanced and practical way. A couple quotations:
Nowadays it’s hard to think of a measure expanding government power over private property and enterprise that the Court, much less Congress, would dismiss out of hand as simply unconstitutional….
Once we have a living constitution, we shouldn’t be surprised to find we have a living bankruptcy law, too….
The new social and economic rights [under FDR] tended to undercut such virtues [industry, frugality, and responsibility], subtly encouraging men and women to look to the government to provide for their needs and then to celebrate that dependency as if it were true freedom….
After quoting a passage from President Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope, Kesler responds,
Obama’s point here is that absolute truth and ordered liberty are incompatible, because absolute truth turns its believers into fanatics or moral monsters. Now granted, it was certainly a good thing that America escaped religious fanaticism and political tyranny. But no previous president ever credited these achievements to the Founders’ supposed rejection of absolute truth–previous known simply as truth.
Truly, as I believe Lewis made clear in The Abolition of Man, The Poison of Subjectivism, and That Hideous Strength, truth and freedom are inextricably bound together.
Indeed, this is the controlling idea behind the seven liberal arts, behind a classical education, and behind western civilization.
We have had, for close to a century, a government that has been actively undercutting the principles that make freedom possible. I do not presume to suggest that they have done so deliberately, only that they have done and so and continue to do so.
In our national anxiety to be free from Christianity we have determined to free ourselves from the idea of truth (replacing it with utility) and thus have plugged, drained, and undermined the springs of freedom.
Please bookmark and read this article by Mr. Kesler carefully.