This may seem esoteric but I think it’s the heart of the matter. I fear it will be lost on many people but that’s precisely the point, and the problem.
The “Great” that has been lost and needs desperately to be fundamentally restored is the set of essential concepts, ideals, and values – the “moral matrix”, described here and here – upon which freedom itself depends and America herself is based. Trump didn’t use these words but I believe they describe the nerve – the intuition – he touched that appealed to the forgotten class but of which the folks who live in the Super ZIPs seem not only unaware, but vehemently oppose.
- Negative liberty.
- Process-based equality and justice.
- Self-dependence, and the culture of dignity.
- “Can-do,” positive outlook.
- Limited government power (i.e., The very purpose of government itself)
- Government as garden tending that creates the conditions which ALLOW growth, achievement, and the pursuit of one’s own ideals (e.g., the Constitution)
- Aristotelian, reality-based, empiricism
- Accepts human nature as it is, and proceeds accordingly
- Healthy, U of Chicago style cognition and debate
- The Telos of Truth
- Epistemic humility
These things that Make America Great are perpetually and increasingly undermined and eroded by their mutually exclusive opposites, which seem also to be the “sacred values” of the folks who live in the Super ZIPs.
- Positive liberty.
- Outcome-based equality and justice.
- Dependence on others, and the culture of Victimhood
- Excuse making an blaming
- Expanded government power to do “good”
- Government as mother hen that COERCES compliance with AN ideal
- Platonic, fantasy-based, idealism (e.g., “I dream of things that never were and ask why not?” – RFK
- Tries to “fix” the flaws of human nature.
- Unhealthy cognitively distorted thinking, intimidation,
- The Telos of Social Justice
- Epistemic confident/arrogance