Author Greg Weiner maintains that today’s politically polarized America badly misses Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the former presidential aide, United Nations ambassador, and four-term U.S. senator from New York who died in 2003. He was a liberal who thought outside the liberal box, who respected both the indispensability of government and the complexity of society. In that respect, Weiner says, he echoed British statesman and scholar Edmund Burke, who set the stage for modern conservativism but exercised a similar broad-mindedness in the 1700s.
Weiner, an assistant professor of political science at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts, explores Moynihan’s thoughtful approach and career in a discussion of his recent book. There are lessons, he says, for our current broken political system.