Brooks concludes from Yuval Levin's fine work:
We Americans have never figured out whether we are children of the French or the British Enlightenment. Was our founding a radical departure or an act of preservation? This was a bone of contention between Jefferson and Hamilton, and it's a bone of contention today, both between parties and within each one.
Both Jefferson and Hamilton, whatever their great differences, were in heated agreement on the radicalism of the American Revolution. We're not Descartes' children, nor are we Hume's. Brooks is right that European standards have infected our political discourse (e.g., "realism" vs. "idealism" in the study of international relations). But, as critics of the State Department have long asked, is there an American interests section here?