An elaboration on “Our Worst Critics Prefer to Stay”

James Freeman:

Progressive leftists are good at destroying traditions, careers and free expression. But after all the societal broken eggs, where’s the progressive omelette? Surely somewhere there must be a model of success given the confidence with which the wokesters of modern media condemn America’s constitutional republic.

A recent headline on this column invited readers to “Name a Great Civilization Created by Progressive Leftists.” Your humble correspondent is still happy to accept nominations and the submissions so far have been extremely interesting. The search continues for a progressive paradise. But what’s striking is that a number of left-leaning respondents—those who did not simply express resentment at the question—have nominated nations of Western civilization that are the typical targets of progressive ire. In fact a few leftists even cite the good old USA as a place created by the progressives of their day.

Perhaps this is encouraging, because it suggests that when pressed the cancel crowd acknowledges that it’s not unreasonable to judge people by the standards of their own times.

But on the substance, what about this argument that the United States of America is the answer to the question posed in that headline?

Princeton professor of jurisprudence Robert George runs the school’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. In response to an email inquiry he writes that “the claim that the American founders were ‘progressive leftists’ is absurd.” Here’s the rest of his response:

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