After the election, conservatives are still full of foreboding — and also a pessimistic hope. Want to know how to spell “default”? asks Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. It goes like this: “entitlement reform.”
Or this from Randall DeSoto: it takes about ten years for Americans to get it together and form a political movement for change. As in1765 to 1776, 1850 to 1860, and so on.
I was taking a similar line back in June, trolling James Piereson’s take in The New Criterion on the fourth American revolution. Only I prefer a stronger brew, the kind of thing argued by William G. McLoughlin in Revivals, Awakenings, and Reform. McLoughlin argues that the great reforms in North American history have always been preceded by a religious Awakening. Liberal economist Robert William Fogel was so impressed that he wrote The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism to warn liberals of the coming threat to their power.
But now liberals think the weather is set fair, what with the black and the Hispanic vote, ObamaCare, and beneficial financial and environmental regulations about to transform America. It was all laid out in The Emerging Democratic Majority by John B. Judis and Ruy Teixeira, and they were just confirming what the Clintons were doing with the Motor Voter Act in 1993.
Don’t look now, liberals, but this is probably the beginning of the end of the Liberal Hour. We will know this for sure if and when a great new moral movement arises in America.