(K. Brent Tomer),
The Fractured Republic: Renewing America’s Social Contract in the Age of Individualism. By Yuval Levin. Basic; 272 pages; $27.50 and £18.99.
PARTY conventions are built around set-piece speeches given from the main stage at a time when middle America, that mythical place, is settling down after dinner to watch the news. Delegates usually hear from the party’s previous nominee, from a rising star, from the candidate’s spouse and then, on Thursday night, from the candidate. In theory, what that candidate says will bear some relation to the ideas discussed, papers published and data marshalled by the wonks who populate the fringe meetings that take place at the convention, unseen by TV cameras, where health-care costs and optimal tax rates may be debated. This year’s Republican convention will be different. The party is running an experiment to see what happens when the nominee’s ideas on almost everything contradict those of the party’s professional intellectuals, those people who write newspaper columns or work in think-tanks clustered between Dupont Circle and K Street in Washington, DC.
Yuval Levin, a…Continue reading