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Liberalism, Conservatism, and Federalism

July 15, 2014

Both liberals and conservatives have good arguments for the idea of federalism, but they typically defend different things. As Tikvah’s executive director Eric Cohen and Weekly Standard editor William Kristol discuss, liberals praise moral freedom and cultural pluralism, while conservatives praise local particularities and the limits on centralized power that come with local self-government. Where does federalism fit into today’s public debates? And why are modern conservatives more likely to defend federalism than liberals, who increasingly celebrate a cosmopolitan ideal and oppose local laws and mores?

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