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It's not just the economy, stupid

October 23, 2012

For The Catholic Thing, Hadley Arkes reflects on the poverty of debate on important moral issues during this year’s American presidential campaign.

In his famous speech at Cooper Union, Abraham Lincoln directly tackled the issue of slavery. But this year’s candidates prefer to concentrate almost exclusively on the economy. Arkes concludes: “Either the political class has come to believe that the economy drives everything else, or that it is the thing that people care about most of all.”

But there was once a time when political men seemed able to talk about the questions that ran to the root of things, and find a public that took quite as seriously, as an issue, the terms of principle on which they lived as a people.


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