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This conversation with Tim Carney, editor at the Washington Examiner and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, explores the subject matter of his 2019 book, “Alienated America: Why Some Places Thrive While Others Collapse.”
Today’s episode is a rebroadcast that originally aired in March of 2019, but holds incredible relevance to conversations we’re still having today.
Social capital – the capacity of people to cooperate towards common aims – is an indispensable element of a free and prosperous society yet many studies demonstrate that it has been steadily eroded in recent decades.
Social pathologies such as the breakdown of the family, addiction, and deaths of despair are strongly correlated with weakening social ties and norms. The decline in social capital has had devastating real world consequences.
Common Grace is both a theological doctrine within the reformed tradition and the title of a truly monumental book discussing the doctrine by the theologian and statesmen Abraham Kuyper. It is grace from God that is common to all of mankind distinct from both the special grace by which God redeems, sanctifies, and glorifies his people as well as the gift of creation itself.
In 1958, in the wake of the Soviet Union launching Sputnik 1 – the world’s first artificial satellite – into space, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act into law. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, was born. And the space race was underway.
In the wake of George Floyd’s death in May of 2020, people took to social media to advocate for causes stemming from that horrible incident. Ranging from simply expressing “Black Lives Matter” to posting a black square on Instagram on a designated day and everything in between, an expectation that everyone must make a statement seemed to emerge. It was an expectation that was extended beyond individuals, as major corporations and sports teams were also expected to make a statement of solidarity. Those that didn’t, or who didn’t act quickly enough, were pilloried online.
On October 14, 2020, the New York Post published an expose on former Vice President and current Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, headlined, “Smoking-gun email reveals how Hunter Biden introduced Ukrainian businessman to VP dad.”
Shortly after the article’s publication, the ability to share the link to the story was limited and, in some cases, prohibited by Facebook and Twitter, with those social media companies alleging that the content was unreliable, unverified, or was prohibited for containing hacked information.
In his article in the June 2020 issue of the Journal of Institutional Economics, Dr. P.J. Hill, who served as the George F. Bennett Professor of Economics at Wheaton College until his retirement in 2011, begins by saying, “in any discussion of the beginning of modern economic growth, the concept of the rule of law plays a crucial role,” and that, “the lack of such an order is the fundamental cause of the failure of nations.”
In his article in the September 21st edition of National Review, “Toward a conservative environmentalism,” Nate Hochman says, “conservatism and conservation aren’t usually thought of as congruent; in fact, for the better part of a half century, many Americans have seen the two as antithetical.”
The untimely death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in February of 2016 amplified questions about the Supreme Court in the 2016 election to new highs. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s high wire act in denying a hearing and vote on President Barack Obama’s nominee to fill that seat, Judge Merrick Garland, ultimately paid off for him: President Donald Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch, who was then confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate.
With fusionism – the strategic alliance of conservative foreign policy hawks, social conservatives and economic libertarians knitted together in the last half of the 20th century in opposition to international communism – crumbling after the fall of the Iron Curtain, the modern conservative movement has been remaking itself in effort to address the problems of the current day.
Charles Malik, the Lebanese diplomat and one of the drafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, was intimately involved in the crises of his own day, from the challenge of international communism to the internal challenges and problems of the West itself. For Malik all of our challenges take the form of crises which, at their deepest levels, reflect Christ’s judgement.