Afternoon essay: “The incredible smallness of the American political imagination”


David Sessions holds that the real lesson of the last two weeks was “the incredible smallness of the American political imagination”:

If, let’s say, you were to believe in a society that is not structured around dubious notions of economic deserts and God-given rights, or one that does not dramatize external enemies and romanticize combat against them, or one that is committed to radical inclusion both domestically and internationally, you became painfully aware the past two weeks that you have virtually zero political representation in the United States, and little hope of ever having it. Even in the party that contains many who think of themselves as European-style secular intellectuals, there is an endless parade of cheers for murder and bestowals of glory on those whose children threw away their lives in meaningless battle. I’m sure John Kerry and Joe Biden think of themselves as committed secularists, but their enthusiasm for chasing infidels to the “end of the earth” shows just how primally zealous our political mainstream remains.

Via Andrew Sullivan.