America wasn’t always a liberal country. The founders drew more upon classical republicanism than liberalism. In the nineteenth century, the populist movement was decidedly anti-liberal. But the founders and the populists were never consistently anti-liberal, because consistency is the province of intellectuals, not statesmen.
America never had a genuinely anti-liberal intellectual movement until the Southern Agrarians of the 1920s and 1930s. (The North American New Right is America’s second anti-liberal intellectual movement.) (more…)