Inherited wealth and privilege are a fact of life in America as one can witness in any private jet terminal in America (there are 453 of them in Texas alone).
So we began talking and he immediately asked me what I thought a liberal was. And I replied that liberals seek to continuously advance liberty and equality, just like John Locke suggested we should do in 1660.
Since that day the liberal constitutional world has gotten much freer and much more equal. But, despite the wishes of Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh, the Liberal Project is not finished.
Clearly a Revolution fought on the principle that “All men are created equal” and “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”, advanced the cause in our country, but one might argue that since Ronald Reagan took power in 1980, the cause of equality has been in retreat.
Fewer people control more wealth and the gap in pay between the CEO and the factory line worker has widened dramatically.
We have returned to the aristocracy Jefferson warned that Hamilton was reconstructing in New York from the London model of “The City”–the financial class that pulled the strings of government. And as Alan Wolfe in his extraordinary book, The Future of Liberalism, says, “Liberty without equality would be as empty as equality without liberty would be authoritarian.”