Only a few days before the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama promised his acolytes that they were on the threshold of “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” His entire presidency has been devoted to constructing institutional challenges to American self-understanding and American power. Endeavoring to weaken America’s political and ideological connection to the Anglosphere and its commitment to limited government, free markets, and individual liberty, he has embraced a European style top-down, centralized style of bureaucratic rule-by-elites.
In a world beset by economic turbulence, rising competition from China and elsewhere, many have asked whether Obama’s tenure will be seen as a turning point in America’s fortunes and its role on the world stage. Today, the jury is still out on the future of America and the values of democratic capitalism and individual liberty it has traditionally represented.
Roger Kimball is editor of The New Criterion, New York, and publisher of Encounter Books. Among his many writings are Tenured Radicals, his highly acclaimed critique of the leftist ascendancy within American universities, and The Long March, the definitive study of the war against traditional culture since the 1960s.
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