We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
He (Sandel) fails to consider that substantial numbers of Americans are proud of their local way of life, have no yearning to live in Manhattan or Silicon Valley, and mostly want progressive elites to mind their own business. And for the most part he ignores the abundant evidence that the anger and the resentment of the people who live beyond urban centers and the wealthy suburbs that surround them stem from the political class’s faulty conduct: Many members of communities in red America believe that elites have recklessly opened the southern border and suspended immigration laws; promiscuously spent taxpayer dollars with little concern for the long-term effects on the nation’s fiscal health; tarnished America’s good name by bungling wars and diplomacy; converted much of the mainstream media into a propaganda arm of the Democratic Party; mobilized powerful government agencies—the IRS, the FBI, and the Department of Justice—against the conservative grassroots as well as its democratically chosen standard-bearer; and, not least, transformed the educational system—from kindergarten through graduate and professional education—into an assembly line for the reproduction of leftist ideology.
Despite the many causes for concern, including a few vague doubts that he himself raises, Sandel rejects the possibility that the primary problem with meritocracy in America is the failure of many members of our intellectual and political elites to perform their jobs well. Instead, he sets out to discredit the very idea that human beings deserve the fruits of their labor.
Sandel is an "international intellectual celebrity, not least in the People’s Republic of China."
"Absurdly, Sandel asserts that while receding in the United States, the American dream is "flourishing" in China—where the Chinese Communist Party confines approximately one million Uyghurs in concentration camps; deprives Tibetans, ethnic Mongolians, and Christians of religious liberty; subjects the entire nation to dissent-crushing, high-tech surveillance; terminated Hong Kong's freedom last year in flagrant violation of China's international obligations and stepped up its threats to do the same to Taiwan; and, in every region of the world, is at work fashioning an international order more congenial to authoritarian government".
During "Sandel’s career-long effort to expose the oppressiveness and delusions of individual freedom, he generally overlooks that many Americans are more likely to disdain Harvard for its haughtiness and for the pretensions of its faculty and graduates to impose their progressive views and preferences on the entire nation than to aspire to send their children there".
"Although it has eluded Sandel for 40 years and counting, the common good in the United States is neither hidden nor mysterious. It is proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, institutionalized in the Constitution, and woven into the fabric of American history. It consists in securing, and exercising responsibly, the rights shared equally by all. America's common good is suited to a people of diverse religious beliefs and a multiplicity of views about how to live a decent and fulfilling life. It is achieved through the establishment of a limited government that focuses on protecting individual rights rather than dictating matters of conscience and legislating morality'.
The whole review is well worth reading. Sandel is an ivory-tower intellectual and is a big part of the problem. He makes assumptions about people he neither knows nor wants to know anything about.
Like with systemic racism where you gotta wonder what systems are responsible for the racism (hint: they're all run by the very people squawking the loudest about systemic racism), you have to wonder why this guy thinks we still live in a meritocracy. Has he never heard of diversity, inclusion, and equity and does he not realize just how pervasive the concept has become?