My web presence expands: my review of Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam's Grand New Party, in the latest issue of Intercollegiate Review, also appears today on I.S.I.'s website First Principles.
Douthat and Salam’s legitimate concern—how to preserve the shaky institutions of family and community—will need to be further considered in light of unprecedented pressures on the suburban and mobile way of life that arose in the mid-twentieth century and may be passing away a mere half-century later. A return to more local economies and communities will happily mean less government intrusion in the daily affairs of the citizenry; however, the transition from our energy-intensive and wasteful society of sprawl and exurbia will also certainly require ingenuity and responsiveness on the part of government—just not in the form of continued investment in a way of life that has no future. The sooner that Douthat and Salam themselves come to this realization, the sooner they may be able to offer creative new solutions based not on a misplaced sense of optimism, but on a real sense of hope for the health of local communities, vibrant and living traditions, and networks of families.