What Will We Learn From Hurricane Sandy?
This entire campaign has been fought out over the issue of whether or not we are all members of a viable political commonwealth with implicit mutual obligations to act through our government — a self-government that is, or ought to be, the purest creative project of that commonwealth — for the common good, or whether that government is a some sort of alien entity repressing our fundamental entrepreneurial energy. Over the next few days, I believe, we are going to see that argument brought to the sharpest point possible. If you want to see how [Hurricane Sandy] will “impact the election,” look to what answer to that question emerges from the storm. It will tell us a lot about the election, and about ourselves.
The tension Pierce describes is long-standing–well before Ronald Reagan declared government as the problem, not the solution–and you could not ask for two candidates as diametrically opposed (Ivy League education aside) as a former community organizer maligned for his lack of private sector experience and a financier celebrated for his supposed mastery of the (nonexistent) free market.