Liberty Matters

A Brief Response

Let me venture an all-too-brief reply to Sarah Morgan Smith's insightful response to my more Tocquevillean take on the religious sources of American ideals of liberty and equality. Sarah believes in an "arc of justice" whose center is an open-ended faith in freedom and equality as abstract – and I would say bottomless -- principles, a faith that I do not share. She believes Tocqueville's insight into the non-democratic foundations of democracy -- and the consequent imperative to hold together goods such as religion and freedom that do not fall together all by themselves -- is a mere prejudice, a stultifying "traditionalism." I think it is the height of sober political and moral reasoning. So, that's what I make of the difference between Sarah (and Progressivism in general) and me (and Tocqueville).