It would be difficult to come up with a more precise and succinct description of our modern political predicament than this one by former religion advisor to Barack Obama, Michael Wear, from his new Substack newsletter. Sure, things are not exactly this simple, and there are so many dynamics at play, but at a macro level, this feels like it nails the current climate.
In an earlier post this year, I reiterated a basic dynamic in our social life that I am not the first to identify, but that I think generally holds: that conservatives have significant political power but feel embattled and resentful due to progressives’ cultural power, and progressives have significant cultural power, but feel embattled and resentful due to conservatives’ political power. That basic assessment requires significant explanation and caveats, but there’s a core truth to it that is helpful as you look out and try to make sense of our politics and broader public life.
What I like about Wear is his consistent optimism. Despite the seeming enormity of the problems that plague us now, he is always looking at how we can mitigate them. He frames problem solving in terms of developing virtues in a way that I rarely see elsewhere.
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