In her book It’s Dangerous to Believe: Religious Freedom and Its Enemies, Mary Eberstadt pictures an American Christianity increasingly under siege, and explains why this has happened and what we can do about it.
Under the Constitution only those powers that are enumerated — that is, granted explicitly — are legitimate. Otherwise put, the federal government has no authority unless it is enumerated in the Constitution; all other aspects of human conduct that may be subject to government control are understood to be reserved to state and local governments — or to be outside the realm of government authority altogether, reserved unto individuals to act upon as they see fit.
Compensating differences abound. Even though chuck steak is less preferred, it outsells filet mignon. Less-preferred Toyotas compete effectively with Mercedes-Benzes. Costume jewelry competes with fine jewelry. In each, the lower price compensates for the difference.
It is a sad commentary on the state of political life in the United States that our political conventions have become more like rock music festivals than competitions of ideas.