So I’ve been getting a good number of challenging emails about our recent postings. Here’s one (from someone most of you know and respect):
Your view relies on viewing the open-endedness of Locke’s doctrine and the mixed or incoherent nature of the Founding. If true, the big obstacle really is not the observable empirical data of American political life but one’s ability to see that the political “brand,” to use your phrase, that wins the day has to be both malleable and recognizably American. BHO sees this and exploits it, by using the mish-mash of the Founding, including its potentially open-ended Lockean elements, to his advantage. The cult of the Founders natural rights club, by defending a more or less univocal and basically coherent view of the Founding, cannot see this or unwilling to see this and thus cannot shape their brand as deftly or effectively.