In an article published by Real Clear Politics, TCA’s Ashley McGuire shares her thoughts and opinions on Bill Barr’s memoir. She writes:

The nearly 600-page book [“One Damn Thing After Another: Memoirs of an Attorney General”] is, first and foremost, a balm for our tumultuous times. His is the rare modern story of a good and upright man and a life well and fully lived, much of it devoted to the bettering of his country. It is an equally rare depiction of a strong and decisive man with a steady hand, something that at times feels almost entirely absent from the political landscape. It is the story of a man of deep faith and virtue who admired his parents, adores his wife, and delights in his daughters, and who moved heaven and earth to care for one of them when she became seriously ill. Now, more than ever, it seems we desperately need a profile such as this to quell the cynicism growing in its absence.

But it’s his takedown of progressivism that makes the book essential reading for anyone trying to understand the current political climate. An expansion of his speech at Notre Dame in which he decried intolerant progressive politics as the new civic religion, oppressing anything and everything in its wake, the book ruthlessly dissects radical progressivism and its “messianic promises” whose sole aim is to “tear down society’s existing belief systems and institutions.”

“The operative goal of this eclectic ideology,” he writes, “is destruction…. Like the Bolshevik movement, the successor ideology is clear about what it wants to destroy but hopelessly vague about what’s to take its place.” He makes some of the strongest and clearest condemnations of progressivism that can be found in current political philosophy. It is not “an extension of liberalism,” he argues, but rather “an illiberal movement aimed at replacing liberalism…. To achieve its end, it must pulverize the values of the middle and working classes, which it views as ignorant obstacles on the road to the Promised Land.”

And now, he argues, our educational system, after undergoing “forced secularization,” has become progressivism’s latest propaganda machine. Schoolchildren are now subjected to “militant secular progressivism,” which is little more than “oppositional ideologies” and “really nothing more than sentimentality, still drawing on the vapor trails of Christianity.”

This has in turn created a “constitutional double standard,” by which secular ideologies are “given the protections of the Free Exercise Clause” but are not “subject to the prohibitions of the Establishment Clause.” The result is a world where religious parents basically cannot in good conscience send their children to public schools. This, he argues, is the actual violation of the Establishment Clause and religious liberty, especially for those parents who cannot afford to send their children to parochial schools.

“The problem today is not that religion is being forced on others,” he writes. “The problem is that secular values are being forced on people of faith. Progressives claim not to like the law being used to force certain moral views on them, but they now want to use the law to force their moral values on others.”

Read more of Ashley’s article here.