Are You a Capitalist Who Supports Infrastructure Projects, Education and Philanthropy? You May Be a Whig

People who read this column know my political ideology: I'm a Whig. If progressives generally believe in expanding government to enhance equality, and libertarians try to reduce government to expand freedom, Whigs seek to use limited but energetic government to enhance social mobility.Back in the 19th century, during their heyday, Whigs promoted infrastructure projects, public education, public-private investments and character-building programs to create dynamic, capitalist communities in which poor boys and girls could rise and succeed.Whigs admired people and places that are enterprising, emotionally balanced and spiritually ardent. They had a great historic run — inspired by Alexander Hamilton, led by Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, embodied most brilliantly in the minds of Abraham Lincoln and the early Theodore Roosevelt.And then the Whig tendency disappeared from American life.There's a promising effort called the Modern Whig Party trying to revive the movement, but until last week I was under the impression that there were basically only 24 of us left.And then I read James and Deborah Fallows' book, "Our Towns." Now I realize that Whigs are the most important political force in America today. It's just that the people who are Whigs don't call themselves Whigs and they are all on the local level.  Continue reading...

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