Out of Many, What?

What is America? What was America? Most importantly of all—what should America become?

These are questions that have haunted the United States since its founding, becoming especially acute in times when what had felt like a consensus on the answers breaks down and the search for new ones begins.

It would appear that we live in such times now. Between the phenomenon of Trumpism on the right and the cultural crusades of the left, with the Cold War long over and the War on Terror presently on the backburner, American thinkers on right and left are desperately searching for unifying causes and principles, a way to reforge and heal a deeply divided America.

One of the solutions proposed, especially by thinkers such as Yoram Hazony and Rich Lowry, is nationalism. The idea is that the elements of at least a form of national identity—one based in religion, ideas, place, and so on—have always been present in the American national DNA, and that these need only be adapted to current circumstances.

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