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New Year, New Congress

New Year, New Congress
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Dear Reader — 

Happy New Year. If this past week is at all indicative, 2017 promises to be an exciting one. 

With Congress back in session and Inauguration Day around the corner, members of the political and chattering classes — the much-maligned Establishment — are in their element. Sparks are flying already between Congress and the incoming administration, while Republicans begin to sketch a conservative vision for 2017 and beyond. It’s an open question what role the president-elect will play in bringing that vision to reality. 

The pundits continue to debate the causes and implications of last November. Concerns about inequality remain prevalent on both sides — though some conservatives are questioning this preoccupation — as do debates about the viability of political liberalism here and abroad. The critical self-examination is heating up on the Left, in particular, with some arguing they have given short shrift to religious voters and the importance of free speech. 

Perhaps there is hope — if not agreement — to be found in this collective attempt to figure out just what healthy politics should look like in our new Jacksonian era.

These are some of the many issues taken up at RealClearPolicy over the past week. Below you will find just a few highlights. 

— M. Anthony Mills, editor | RealClearPolicy


The Enlightenment Had a Good Run. In The Boston Globe, Stephen Kinzer places the 2016 election as well as political trends around the globe in historical context. 

Rising Inequality Is Far from Inevitable. In The American Prospect, Robert Kuttner argues that rising inequality is the result of bad policies, not the inevitable forces of our global, high-tech economy.

The Campus Free-speech Problem Will Hurt Dissidents. For Vox, Anthony L. Fisher makes a liberal case for defending free speech on campus. 

Democrats Have a Religion Problem. The Atlantic’s Emma Green talks to Michael Wear about the Democratic Party’s “illiteracy” and “hostility” toward white evangelicals.

Democrats Don’t Have a Religion Problem. In Slate, Jamelle Bouie counters Wear’s thesis, arguing that Democrats have lost white voters, not religious ones.

Conservatism in the Era of Trump. In National Review, Tim Alberta considers what the Republican Party might look like now that “the very definition of conservatism seems up for grabs.”

A New Urban Crisis. In our own pages, Max Heninger considers how two urbanists are coming to terms with growing inequality in American cities. 

The Inequality Hype. In The American Interest, Neil Gilbert contends that the data offer a “more heartening picture of American well-being” than our political fixation on inequality would suggest. 

Restoring Accountability to Government Agencies. In The Daily Signal, Rep. Doug Collins argues that a new bill will help check executive overreach and restore constitutional balance. 

Donald Trump Won’t Unite Us — That’s Great News. The Federalist’s Rachel Lu argues that Americans should look beyond politics to find solidarity and national unity. 

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