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Pecknold also published a column on why the American creed isn’t working for the Washington Examiner. See below.

Why the American Creed isn't working

From: Washington Examiner
Date: Feb. 13, 2017
Author:Chad Pecknold


Alexis de Tocqueville observed that Americans are the least philosophical people, but also the most practical. This fits with our reputation for pragmatism, our unofficial public philosophy. But can we even claim to be pragmatists anymore? Quite independent of who occupies the White House, could Tocqueville still say we are the most practical people when nothing seems to be working?

One needn't look to policy debates to see our difficulty. One sees the trouble set deep into the bonds of affection between friends and amidst family. A colleague of mine named 2016 the "Unfriend Me Now" election year. Our politics are becoming less practical and more philosophically demanding of friendships and families — the social glue of political community.

It's not that no one crosses the aisle anymore. It's that we have come to think of our life together not as series of pragmatic arrangements, but that our life together demands certain philosophic commitments that must guide our actions and constitute our friendships. Yet, becoming less practical and more philosophic isn't making us happier. ...


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