In my previous essay, I wrote about the value of factions, and how liberalism’s strengths come from diversity and disagreement. I mentioned that diversity is hard because it asks us to tolerate views that we abhor. As Will Wilkinson has argued, the United States has been slowly sorting itself into two competing tribes that come with rather different sets of values.
A stark challenge for liberalism is managing this level of disagreement. Of course, we have a set of procedures that are designed for just that—they are embodied in the Constitution. The liberal order is built upon the rule of law, and so we might expect the Constitution to carry us through potential dark times and see us through to the other side. I want to suggest that a reliance on the law won’t be good enough.