These are tough times for a
political theorist amateur sociologist. I, for instance, utterly lack the resources of a Yuval Levin, a Jim Manzi, or a Noah Millman: I have no deep, information-rich skill set pertaining to economics or finance.
When confronted with A Situation Like This, I feel more subject then ever to Rorty’s claim that philosophers are pro pitchers of platitudes.
All of which is no big deal, except that the commentary cycle we’re all living in makes it doubly hard to take a step back, take a deep breath, and ponder how A Situation Like This might be accounted for in terms of the big movements and features of our culture — not just our spending habits or our institutionalized risk but our ‘lifeworld’, our deep list of convictions and priorities. A while ago somewhere I suggested just a little glibly that the political dynamics of this campaign had slipped out ahead of the ken of the commentariat, that we were all really in pure reactive mode. Now more than ever…! As painful as it is to realize.