A quarter century ago, Ronald Reagan pulled off an amazing political feat, spanning and binding the don't-tread-on-me libertarian and moralizing Moral Majority wings of the Republican Party. And the GOP soared to power.
Now, twenty-five years later, the old Republican foes are grating on each other again. Fissures are visible. War and woe have taken a toll. And still, the Democrats seem becalmed.
Harvard political philosopher Michael Sandel has an idea why. The Democrats talk about individual rights, he says, but have stopped talking about their vision of a good society. And fundamentalists fill the void.
Hear a conversation with public philosopher Michael Sandel.
Michael J. Sandel, The Anne T. & Robert M. Bass Professor of Government at Harvard and author of "Public Philosophy: Essays on Morality in Politics"
Jack Beatty, On Point News Analyst and senior editor at The Atlantic Monthly.
This program aired on December 6, 2005.