Conservatism

Back From the North Country

Featured image You might have noticed that I have been gone for a while. My family went up North for four days to Lake Vermilion, our preferred North Woods getaway for more than 25 years. My only contribution in absentia was a Drudge link to this post on Donald Trump’s progress as a presidential candidate. Click to enlarge: Is a Drudge link exciting? Let’s put it this way: the traffic that a »

A call for less conservative-on-conservative disparagement

Featured image Andrew Klavan of PJ Media observes that conservative “NeverTrumpers” tend to be younger than conservatives who are willing to bite the bullet and vote for Trump. He speculates that this is because “for the young, there very much does seem to be a future in which the conservative movement can rebuild no matter what damage Hillary wreaks on the nation.” For the old, “this may not be the last election…but »

Our Fractured Republic

Featured image In a recent podcast, Steve talked with Yuval Levin about his brilliant new book, The Fractured Republic: Renewing America’s Social Contract in an Age of Individualism. In the interview, Yuval summarized the book’s themes and some of its key arguments. The discussion begins at around the 19 minute mark. At 21 minutes, Yuval sets forth his core thesis. At 23 minutes, he begins his critique of contemporary conservatism. I can’t »

WaPo house conservative: Hillary is the grown-up America needs

Featured image Jennifer Rubin is the author of “Right Turn,” a conservative space in the Washington Post. Some on the right question whether Rubin is a conservative, but I don’t I believe I ever have. I was surprised, therefore, by Rubin’s latest offering. It’s a called (in the print edition) “The need for grown-ups.” The “grown-ups” to whom Rubin refers are Theresa May, who will be Britain’s next prime minister, and Hillary »

Restraining our way to lawlessness and unrestrained government, Part Two

Featured image Charles Krauthammer suggests that James Comey’s decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton, like Chief Justice Roberts’ decision to uphold the Obamacare mandate, was driven by an unwillingness to upend or overrule the political processes on a momentous matter. In Roberts’ case the momentous matter was legislation providing free or cut-rate health to millions of Americans. In Comey’s it was a presidential election. I agree with Krauthammer. In both instances, it »

Finally, a WaPo op-ed that backs Trump

Featured image Charles Kesler, writing in the Washington Post, takes on the Never Trump movement. Without wanting to shortchange Kesler’s worthwhile piece, the most remarkable thing about it may be its appearance in the Post. To my knowledge, not a single conservative or right of center columnist in the Post’s stable has expressed anything other than contempt for Donald Trump. From Charles Krauthammer to Jennifer Rubin, they all seem to despise the »

Donald Trump, Andrew Jackson, and Tom Cotton

Featured image When conservatism has succeeded in America, whether ideologically or politically, it has done so through the fusion of divergent philosophical viewpoints and diverse policy preferences. Ideologically, conservatism began to take off when William F. Buckley and the National Review crowd fused neo-liberalism — belief in free markets and individualism — with communitarian conservatism. Politically, conservatism prospered thanks to Ronald Reagan’s coalition of economic conservatives, social conservatives, and national security hawks »

For the Washington Post leftism is the measure of all things

Featured image George Voinovich died this week. Voinovich, a Republican, was a highly successful mayor of Cleveland, an extremely popular governor of Ohio (reelected with 74 percent of the vote in a quintessential swing state), and an influential two-term U.S. Senator (reelected with 64 percent of the vote). How did the Washington Post choose to remember this political giant? With the following obituary headline (paper edition): George Voinovich, 79, Republican politician from »

Sir Roger Scruton!

Featured image Delighted to hear the news that the great British philosopher Roger Scruton has received a knighthood, and is now Sir Roger Scruton. I’ve had occasion to talk about Roger many times before on Power Line, such as here (praising his memoir Gentle Regrets), here (on his great recent book How To Be a Conservative), and here (featuring my short interview with him four years ago about his book on environmentalism). »

Loose Ends (4)

Featured image Today turns out to be the 75th anniversary of C.S. Lewis’s famous lecture/sermon “The Weight of Glory.” You can read the whole thing at the link, but Justin Taylor also offers a good retrospective at The Gospel Coalition blog. You can see Lewis’s capacious mind on full display in this sermon, which ranged from the Stoics and Augustine and Thomas Aquinas clear through to Milton and Kant, never bogging down »

So Trump Is Our Nominee. It’s Time to Move On.

Featured image As Steve noted a little while ago, lots of conservative leaders (I resist referring to any Republicans as an “establishment,” since the real establishment is overwhelmingly Democratic) are not reacting well to the fact that Donald Trump has won the Republican nomination. Some appear to consider Trump’s victory the end of the conservative movement, or the Republican Party, or both. Today Andy McCarthy wrote “in support of an independent presidential »

Recalling Harry Jaffa on the Radio

Featured image Seth Leibsohn of the great Patriot Radio KKNT in Arizona graciously hosted me for an entire hour last night to talk further about the wisdom of our teacher Harry Jaffa. It’s pretty tricky trying to do deep-dish political philosophy on the radio, but we gave it a shot. We were pretty hard on Republicans and conservatives not merely for failing to “communicate” what is wrong these days, but for failing »

The Reagan Coalition Is Dead. What’s Next For Conservatism?

Featured image Ronald Reagan swept to two landslide victories on the strength of his famous three-legged stool—economic conservatism, social conservatism and an internationalist, hawkish foreign policy. But the elements of the Reagan coalition have been drifting apart for some time, and the alliance now appears to be irretrievably fractured. I was talking recently with a friend I hadn’t seen for a while, and when the conversation turned to politics, he said something »

What not to do if Trump is nominated

Featured image Here’s the latest from George Will on Donald Trump. Will describes the damage Trump will inflict on the Republican Party if he is the presidential nominee, and notes that the damage already inflicted is “extensive.” I agree. However, it seems to me that the great columnist is badly misguided when it comes to prescribing how conservatives should respond if the GOP nominates Trump. In Will’s view: Were [Trump] to be »

Power Line & Campus Leftism on Patriot Radio

Featured image Patriot radio host Seth Leibsohn in Arizona often has us on his terrific radio show, and yesterday he and his regular Monday guest Chris Buskirk, who curates the DownStreamPolitics website, were on the air discussing my post from over the weekend about Harry Jaffa and how “The Cold War Never Ended.” Seth and Chris were actually present for the lecture that I quoted from, the lucky guys. Before going to »

How Did the Left Get the Drop on Us?

Featured image In my post yesterday on “The Cold War Never Ended,” I mentioned that I had written a long memo to management at AEI several years ago about aspects of this problem that I could not find. I found it. Turns out it dates from the fall of 2011, and while it doesn’t exactly describe the present moment, I think it saw some of the storm clouds that were gathering. Here »

The Cold War Never Ended

Featured image A lot of conservatives have expressed shock and disorientation at the revival of enthusiasm for socialism, not to mention the shattering of the consensus for free trade, low taxes, open markets, freedom of expression, and so forth. It is clear—and I wrote a long memo about this at AEI about five years ago that I cannot now find—that we all made a major mistake in the early 1990s when the »