By Craig Hatkoff
Irwin Kula (“the literal rabbi”) and I are always seeking insights into and discussing polarization in America whether it be conversations with our friend Glenn Beck (Irwin has become a regular on Glenn’s show) or discussions about how population density, industrialization or agrarian geography (i.e., rice versus wheat) influence the politics of our world views.
Today we had one of our extraordinarily surreal moments in one of our phone conversations. (Irwin is vacationing in Miami and I am in NYC.) He excitedly started to tell me about an amazing exchange he had just had with someone named Skip Simonds (a cold call he had received) about political polarization after Skip saw him on a segment with Glenn on The Blaze. I immediately jumped in. “Geez, that just reminded me, I am reading a great book about the seeds of liberalism and conservatism that I’ve been meaning to tell you about. Give me a second to get the book since I keep forgetting!”
As I returned to the phone with the book I said ” I am reading The Great Debate.…” Irwin cut me off. “Oh my God!” he said. “Written by Yuval Levin????” I said, “Yes! That’s the book Skip was telling me I had to read!!”
Now, of all the hundreds, if not thousands, of books about the roots of polarization, the probability of The Great Debate coming up was astronomically remote. Good enough reason for us to take it seriously, from a spiritual, synchronistic point of view.
Levin crisply couches the discussion through the lens of Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine’s lively 18th century debates about the French Revolution. It is a page turner for political theory geeks. Available on Kindle but let us know what you think.