The New Republic magazine was, appropriately, the stimulant that last week gave the Democratic base a frisson of anticipation about a possible Elizabeth Warren presidential candidacy in 2016. Now in her 11th month as a Massachusetts senator, she is suited to carry the progressive torch that was fueled 99 years ago this month by The New Republic’s founding.
Its first editor was Herbert Croly, whose 1909 book “The Promise of American Life” — Theodore Roosevelt read it, rapturously, during his post-presidential travels — is progressivism’s primer: “The average American individual is morally and intellectually inadequate to a serious and consistent conception of his responsibilities as a democrat,” so national life should be a “school.” “The exigencies of such schooling frequently demand severe coercive measures, but what schooling does not?” And “a people are saved many costly perversions” if “the official schoolmasters are wise, and the pupils neither truant nor insubordinate.”
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Will writes for the Washington Post; email@example.com.