In We the Fallen People, Tracy McKenzie takes on the conviction that the moral intuition of the American electorate is the basis for our democratic flourishing. This belief is summarized in the phrase, “America is great because she is good.”
Even though some on the right have argued that the United States needs to return to a strong common national identity to survive, Goldman argues in “After Nationalism” that America has normally not had this type of cohesion for most of its history.
Goldman responds to commentators who believe that Americans must return to some overarching identity and purpose. He argues that this task is difficult when the conditions that allowed previous unity no longer exist. Moreover, nationalists do not reasonably explain programs that could reignite a meaningful shared identity.