Back on the stick (somewhat), I’ll respond here in a roundup form to some interesting comments made on the blog while I had limited online access, especially from bloggers at American Creation, the interesting site I’d had the chance to explore lightly before I entered the dead zone:
Responding to George Washington: Secular Saint?, in which I’d made some observations about where I think “American Creation” folks are coming from, Jonathan Rowe explains the blog this way:
On balance our voice may lean right; but we go out of our way to be diverse and pluralistic (in the classically liberal sense of the term). We have lefties and righties who right for us. Me, I’m libertarian. … We also have Mormons, evangelicals, Unitarian-Universalists, agnostics and atheists as our posters and readers.
And Tom Van Dyke says:
We are Straussians in the way you are a Marxist. … Which is to say, in approach. It’s true we parse the Founding texts “to death.” We are more interested in ideas [ideals?] than power, race and class; more interested in the ideas that led up to the Founding era than its aftermath on the ground, say Britain’s Glorious Revolution more than the Whiskey Rebellion; more interested in Rev. Richard Hooker than Rev. Herman Husband.
Which puts our difference as neatly as they can be put, I think. (He’s referring to my post on being labeled a Marxist.) And he adds:
For the record, we don’t do Allan Bloom, heh heh. More Thomas G. West’s polite and gentle evisceration of him. Even high conservatives gotta have some standards.
I’m grateful for these remarks; it’s good to know my posts are landing with the people who I think might find them interesting. (The AC bloggers also comment on my posts on their site; I’ll try to respond there.) They don’t seem all that compelled by my more painful view of Washington’s role in the Newburgh Crisis, say, but then again maybe not everybody finds the Newburgh Crisis as compelling I do. (Can it be?)
In that context, Martin of What Would the Founders Think also commented interestingly on the same post, and because his comments are so specific, I’ll respond there, however belatedly. (He also commented on another, pretty old post.)
And thanks to David Huston for adding Woody Holton to my left founding history reading list. Yes, agree he’s key, and I’ve mentioned him elsewhere. I didn’t include him on the list only because his work hasn’t specifically inspired much of mine. For those interested, I highly recommend Unruly Americans. And where I see certain things quite differently from Holton is something I might try to air out sometime.
Back on “American Creation”: There’s an important (to me, anyway) two-part re-post there of this piece on the little-understood importance of the universalist visionary Richard Price to the American founding; as well as a piece –with which I could not disagree more strenuously — on Protestantism and religious tolerance. Rock on.