Even the healthiest patriotism does not address whether America’s political regime ought to re-main basically neutral about whether its citizens flourish. If what our politics can give us is fair procedures for resolving disputes, and protections for speech and property, and a broad enough distribution of power that tyranny has difficulty taking hold, that is remarkable and we should be grateful. That still isn’t living well.
That motherhood and childhood begin in pregnancy is highly embarrassing to liberal anthropology. The physical and genealogical dependence of children on their parents attacks the thesis that we are isolated individuals rather than members of families that precede and survive us.