In the battle over the role of government in American life, it’s clear that the Left is winning decisively. The era of small government is over. As Donald Trump’s convention speech made clear, the election of 2016 is a race between an old-school Democrat and a new-school progressive….
I can’t recall a Republican speech in my lifetime that put such an overwhelming emphasis on the ability of a national leader to transform American lives. I and I alone will protect Americans from ISIS, from domestic crime, and from the free market, Trump declared. Corporations won’t move their factories, wages will increase, and trade will suddenly become fair. How? Don’t ask. He’ll make it so.
Nor can I remember a modern Republican speech that put less emphasis on life, liberty, or the Constitution. He never mentioned abortion or Roe v. Wade. His discussion of religious liberty focused entirely around the Johnson Amendment — obscure legislation that has kept churches out of politics — and neglected the far more grave concerns about the independence and even existence of religious institutions in the face of increasingly militant secular progressives.