Feature

He’s not the liberal Reagan yet

Will President Obama realize his goal of becoming the liberal Ronald Reagan?

Ross Douthat
NYTimes.com

Will President Obama realize his goal of becoming the liberal Ronald Reagan? asked Ross Douthat. Obama is well on his way to achieving “a philosophical reorientation of American domestic politics,” promoting what he calls “collective action”—that is, an activist government to solve the country’s problems. It’s a clear attempt to undo Reagan’s conservative revolution, in which government was seen not as the solution but as the problem. But while Obama has, in two successful elections, built a genuine liberal majority, “philosophical victories have to last to be considered real.” He has yet to prove that his government-driven solutions will work. In a still-sluggish economy, nearly 13 million Americans remain unemployed. Obamacare could yet fall apart at the seams due to its “design flaws” and incredible complexity. Budget deficits remain sky-high. At the start of Reagan’s second term, 51 percent of Americans were “very satisfied” with the nation’s direction; today, only 23 percent are. Unless Obama’s results match his rhetoric, the nation’s shift to the left “will remain at least partly reversible”—and his legacy will fall short of his grand dreams.

Recommended

China says it successfully cloned 3 'super cows'
5 cows lined up at feeding trough.
carbon copy

China says it successfully cloned 3 'super cows'

Japanese restaurants fight back against viral 'sushi terrorism' trend
Photo of Kura Sushi, a Japanese conveyor belt sushi restaurant chain
save the sushi

Japanese restaurants fight back against viral 'sushi terrorism' trend

U.S. to send Ukraine GLSDB smart bombs capable of grazing Crimea
GLSDB smart bomb
Arsenal of Democracy

U.S. to send Ukraine GLSDB smart bombs capable of grazing Crimea

Egyptian mummification used ingredients found only in Asia, scientists find
Saqqara, Egypt
How to make a mummy

Egyptian mummification used ingredients found only in Asia, scientists find

Most Popular

The Hogwarts Legacy boycott controversy, explained
Hogwarts Legacy logo photo
Briefing

The Hogwarts Legacy boycott controversy, explained

Linda Ronstadt is the Kate Bush of 2023 thanks to The Last of Us
Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett in The Last of Us
running up that hill

Linda Ronstadt is the Kate Bush of 2023 thanks to The Last of Us

The Adani Group scandal, explained
Gautam Adani.
Briefing

The Adani Group scandal, explained