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.
The odd thing about Bashir and Erdogan is how little they understand the West, and particularly the United States. There is no condemnation of America, its history, and its actions that foreign regimes can make that Americans did not make first, still make, and made more convincingly.
“A Christian knows, or ought to know, that an adequate Christian political ethic is not established merely by conceiving the most ideal possible solution for a political problem. He must, in all humility, deal with the realities of human nature, as well as the ideal possibilities.”