"WHO TODAY IS CALLED a liberal for strength and confidence in defense of liberty?" Harvey Mansfield asked this question almost 30 years ago in the preface to his Spirit of Liberalism, and the answer was almost self-evident. This was during the Carter administration, and things haven't gotten better since. There have been some exceptions to the rule of liberalism's weakness, but these exceptions have been fleeting, and the rule seems stronger than ever in the America of 2006.Bill Kristor writing on The Euston Manifesto in The Weekly Standard as A Few Good Liberals.
Not so in Great Britain. There, Tony Blair has shown strength and confidence in defense of liberty, and it turns out he is not alone. A couple of weeks ago, a group of "democrats and progressives" released the "Euston Manifesto" (eustonmanifesto.org) proposing to draw a line between a soft and relativist left and the strong and confident democratic left that the signers seek to invigorate.