The Politics of Competence
An Interview with Joshua Mitchell
In the book I suggest two alternatives for America going forward. To state the case in its strongest form, we can either continue to be transfixed by what I call “the politics of innocence and transgression” or we can re-adopt what I call “the liberal politics of competence.” These are two different regimes types. They will produce two different kinds of America. The so-called “transformation of America,” begun during the Obama administration and now proceeding with lightning speed in the Biden administration, is transfixed on turning America into a nation attentive only to innocent victims and to disenfranchising—or cancelling, really—the transgressors. The former are the so-called voiceless ones, who now alone have the right to speak; the latter have been heard from enough and must now be silent. No decent liberal nation can be built on the politics of innocence and transgression. Nor can we build a nation that works on that sort of politics. If we want a nation that is both decent and that works, we must develop a nation of competent citizens, capable of building a world together, in their neighborhoods, local communities, schools, churches, and jobs.
Joshua Mitchell is a senior fellow at Common Sense Society.
Read the full article in City Journal.