How am I supposed to take this article by Matthew Continetti seriously when it begins like this:
Decades from now, historians are going to fill e-tome after e-tome debating when the crisis in American authority began. A good place to start would be the Clinton era. The president of the United States had a tawdry affair, lied about it, and refused to accept any responsibility for his actions. The Republicans correctly pointed out that the president had acted beneath his office. The problem was that many of them were acting beneath their offices, too. (emphasis added)
How could anyone seriously argue that authority didn’t decline until the Clinton years? If he had placed it during the Watergate scandal of the 1970s, I would say he was too late. A collapse in authority was evident in 1960s, but I would guess it began earlier than that. If anything, Continetti has it backwards: if a crisis in authority hadn’t already existed for decades before he came to power, Clinton’s tawdry little scandal would have never been exposed.