So much has happened this year that, with professional commitments and the rapid pace of developments, it has proven impossible to comment on it all.
In politics, it appears the gerrymandering of districts has created safe seats for partisans of both parties. Not surprisingly, such representatives see themselves as holders of a mandate not to compromise on principle. Nearly every political question can be reduced to an expression of principles, and so there is a hardening of partisanship.
In morals, the consensus on ancient norms is changing—has changed. Whatever the merits of the underlying arguments, it’s clear the mores have changed when we see gay soldiers and Boy Scouts, legalized marijuana, and women in combat. Good or bad, these changes are stupefying in scope. As a member of the badly named Greatest Generation put it to me recently, “I never thought I’d see that.” The one consistency in the moral realm is the continuation of the judiciary’s practice of legislating morality from the bench. If the people of California amend their state constitution to define marriage as an arrangement between one man and one woman, well, we certainly can’t let them do that. After all, it’s…immoral.