A 5 mph Speed Limit?

Earlier this week, introducing his plan to reduce roadway deaths, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg declared that “every driver, passenger, and pedestrian should be certain that they’re going to arrive at their destination safely, every time.” This was anodyne rhetoric, and in the scheme of things, it probably actually was harmless. But harmless rhetoric can be revealing, and this statement revealed a continued erosion of our understanding that there are limits and tradeoffs involved in most facets–make that “every” facet–of political life. There is a way to reduce roadway deaths to zero. It is to reduce the speed limit to 5 … Continue reading A 5 mph Speed Limit?

Tory Pragmatism

This essay from Michael Knox Beran is among the more incisive reflections I have recently read on politics, especially within the constraints of the American regime. Beran argues that both right and left get Franklin Roosevelt wrong: FDR was less radical and more cautious than is generally believed. Beran captures the essential challenge of the statesman: In a moment of crisis, he or she must act without definitive sense of what the correct action is or what all its consequences may be. Beran suggests that Roosevelt read the “temper of the country” better than some later scholars have claimed: The … Continue reading Tory Pragmatism