America and its Constitution rest on conservative principles of negative liberty and separation of powers, which follow naturally and inevitably from a deep study and thorough understanding of human nature and human history.
The irony is that it has taken a century for sociologists like Haidt, et al, to only begin to understand what the Founders already knew and applied so well in their statecraft. The Founders were haunted by the long history of brittle Republics of the past as chronicled by the likes of Livy and Tacitus. Indeed, if you were to read Haidt’s text then venture to read Madison’s Federalist 10 you would realize there is very little that Haidt learned in his extensive sociological studies that the Founders didn’t already divine from their deep reading of history. Man is by nature tribal and factitious. Republics must therefore be so constituted with this feature in mind. The Founders solution was two-fold, a Republic structured with redundancies that required constant checks and accountability between multiple centers of political power, and a system of education that sought to form citizens who were citizenship-minded. The tragedy is that during the last century, our experts have succeeded in virtually leveling any remnant of that system designed to override our most factitious instincts.
This is the reason for America’s success. Our principles, processes, virtues, customs, traditions, and institutions swim with the tide of human nature, leveraging it in a jiu-jitsu sort of way that allows the invisible hand of human nature to work its magic for the mutual benefit of all of us. Through this approach America’s conservative social and economic systems and principles (i.e., our Constitution and capitalism) have done more to increase the security and well-being of people not just in America but all over the world than any other approach in any place at any time.
Leftism, on the other hand, rests on principles of positive liberty and consolidation of government power for use as a force for good in an attempt to manufacture the imaginary ideal of the “good society” (aka the “new man,” aka the “General Will”) here on earth. This approach invariably ends up denying and defying human nature and the lessons of history, and forcing societies and the people within them to swim against the tide of what evolution created humans to be and do.
This is the reason for leftism’s failures. From behind the façade of “enlightened” social engineering – from the terror of the French Revolution to Russian, Chinese, Cambodian, and Cuban communism, to Italian Fascism, and German Nazism – left wing ideologies have trapped more people in a lower overall quality of life, and have been more oppressive, and at times even genocidal, than that of America’s conservative system. Whenever and wherever leftism has had complete or majority control of a society decay and disaster has followed.
The primary reason America has been able to avoid falling into the same rabbit hole as left wing societies is because its Constitution and its founding principles forstalled the slide. The American founders learned the lessons of history and stood athwart them yelling “Stop!” Fortunately for us and for the world the system they put in place has been so far largely successful.
No matter how much you hate Trump personally, he is far less dangerous to America, liberty, and propserity than is Hillary, Bernie, Obama, or any other liberal. Ever. Period.
It really is that simple.