Conservatives pen op-ed bemoaning ‘age of increasing national self-doubt’
Nearly 60 prominent conservatives came together to write an op-ed published Thursday in National Review condemning the current political climate in the U.S., saying that it pits individuals against “the American project.”
“We live in an age of increasing national self-doubt,” the 59 authors said in an op-ed for the magazine. “The American project, as such, is under assault.”
The group, which included members of Congress, former Cabinet members, professors and pundits, condemned the animosity toward “our traditional heroes,” institutions such as elections and law enforcement, the education system, the system of government, and “traditional values of fair play, free speech, and religious liberty.”
“The national mood resembles those of the 1930s and 1970s, when radical critiques of America got considerable traction and our national self-confidence often seemed to hang by a thread,” they wrote.
National figures who signed on to the piece include former Attorney General William Barr, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R).
Despite the hostility in today’s politics, the writers said they believe “America is a fundamentally fair society with bountiful opportunity” whose “original sins have been honorably, if belatedly, repudiated.”
“To the extent that these notions are falling out of favor, it is the responsibility of those who love America to revivify them,” they wrote in the piece, titled “America’s Crisis of Self-Doubt.”
“There is no doubt that the country faces severe challenges, many the result of shortsightedness and wishful thinking, but we still have an enormous capacity for renewal. It is because our ancestor patriots rejected despair and kept faith with America that we are here to fight another day.”
The op-ed comes amid severe polarization in Washington, D.C., and at a time when pride in the country, which remains relatively high, has decreased with each generation.
An Ipsos poll in the summer of 2021 found that 69 percent of U.S. citizens say they are proud to be American.
The op-ed authors posit the “common sense and decency of the American people” will combat “illiberalism.” This includes the U.S. law and Constitution along with “families, churches and synagogues, neighborhoods, and voluntary associations.”
“We represent various points on the conservative spectrum and may travel under different labels. We certainly have disagreements about policy questions and priorities. But we are united as devotees of America. We continue to be thankful for her, and we are determined to defend her and lift her up,” the article concluded.
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