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Lucretia takes over hosting duties for this episode (which seems only truth-in-advertising, since most listeners think she is charge every week), as we contemplate the question: wouldn’t it be nice if we actually had two political parties? We use as our text for the subject one of Harry Jaffa’s earliest essays, “The Nature and Origin of the American Party System,” where he explains why at its core party competition at crucial moments presents a fundamental choice between conflicting understandings of the nation’s core principles.
As Jaffa puts it in a bracing paragraph early in the essay:
“While it is true that, happily, we have not had more than one Civil War, I believe that the Civil War, even if an exception in one sense, is also the most characteristic phenomenon in American politics, if by characteristic we mean that which reveals the innermost character of that politics.”
It is probably the case that American politics right now is in a state of genuine civil war in terms of the deepness of the divisions over first principles between our two parties—if only Republicans would stand up and speak out more clearly about it. If they can figure this out, they might actually win a victory that will break the stalemate of the last 25 years.
From there we ponder the “Great Liberal Freakout Over Hungary” precipitated by Tucker Carlson’s visit there this week—a freakout that unfortunately includes too many conservatives. (“French Surrenders Again” could be the headline of this segment.) Steve shares some observations from his recent visit, and notes the massive hypocrisy of liberal complaints about Hungary.
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