The End of Prudence and the Triumph of Ideology in the Democratic Party | 7/16/2019 | Staff
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Steve Bullock, John Delaney, and Tim Ryan have two things in common.

Of all the Democratic presidential candidates, they alone oppose providing government-funded health care to illegal immigrants. They also stand virtually no chance of winning the Democratic primary election.

Plenty - Space - Issues - Problem - Candidates

There’s plenty of space in which to disagree on issues. The problem is that Democratic candidates aren’t using that space at all. With only a few rather insignificant exceptions, they’re all huddled together in the furthest left corner of the stage.

Democratic leaders supported policies quite recently that the party as a whole won’t tolerate today. The Washington Post described this shift as “Obama without Obama-ism.” The New York Post declared, “Forget the Democratic Party of Bill Clinton: The party of Barack Obama is dead, taken over by the historically discredited mantra of socialism.”

Pressure - Candidates - Policy - Positions - Consensus

The pressure on the Democratic presidential candidates to conform to policy positions that are extreme, relative to the consensus of the recent past, is alarming. Especially disturbing, though, is the political posture of refusing to exercise prudence in regard to difficult political questions. Instead, the party has largely surrendered to the dictates of ideological thinking, come what may.

Prudence is a rare virtue. Neither political party has a monopoly on it.

Aristotle - Prudence - Preeminent - Virtue - Statesman

Aristotle described prudence as the preeminent virtue of the statesman, the most important quality one should look for in a political leader. Prudence is a kind of practical judgment, but it means much more than mere cunning.

Perhaps his most distinct quality, Aristotle says, is that the prudent man is able to deliberate about what is good and advantageous, “not in part, such as the sort of things that are conducive to health or to strength, but the sort of things that are conducive to living well as a whole.” Human flourishing, in other words, is more than the sum of all...
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