I will readily admit that no one in this group (with the possible exception of Hitchens) is uniformly correct in all their judgments. And yet they are all doing politics, and, at least on the American side, doing so in concert. They are working mostly on gut instinct. Those on the Left are benefiting from intellectual traditions on the Left they may have never seriously studied, a tradition going back to Aristotle, proceeding through the German idealists, Hegel, and then Marx (despite the many minuses of the latter, and yet there are not only minuses). Probably the same can be said for the conservative Tucker Carlson. Has he read much, or any, Augustine or Dostoevsky or Polanyi? I have no idea.
Here’s the exciting thing, though. These separate streams of tradition, the one Christian, the other on the Left, are not reducible to liberalism and together have the capacity to sustain both parts of the phrase: “common good.”
In the dismal world of U.S. politics today, the Carlson Coalition, for all its obvious frailness, is pretty much all that gives me hope. Its members seem to realize the importance of holding "truth” as something sacred even in the realm of politics. Liberalism’s founding act was its rejection of the sacred—the complete severance of the sphere of the sacred from the political. There can be no overcoming of the American crisis without their reintegration, in a manner as yet to be defined.
Paul Grenier is the founder and president of Simone Weil Center for Political Philosophy. He writes frequently on foreign policy and political philosophy-related themes. In addition to American Affairs, his writing has appeared in The American Conservative, ConsortiumNews, Ethika Politika, The Baltimore Sun, and his essays have also appeared in French, Russian and Spanish language publications in translation.