Conservatism

Charles Murray: Right questions, wrong answers

Featured image Yesterday Charles Murray celebrated his 75th birthday and retired as the American Enterprise Institute’s W. H. Brady Scholar. AEI celebrated his career with an event at which Murray he looked back at his life and thought in a lecture he titled “Right Questions and Wrong Answers.” In the lecture Murray reflected on his career from the time he spent in Thai villages in the 1960s through the writing of landmark »

Check Out One of America’s Most Dynamic Publications

Featured image I left the law business at the end of 2015 and took over as President of Minnesota’s principal conservative organization, Center of the American Experiment. The Center is playing a leading role in transforming Minnesota from a regressive blue state into a modern red, conservative state. We have a complex communications strategy that in 2017 led to more than 30 million contacts with Minnesota’s adult population of around 4 million, »

Steve Bannon, David Stockman, and the need to spill one’s guts to liberals [UPDATED]

Featured image Jonah Goldberg says he’s “struggling to think of a comparable figure in American political history who squandered real power and influence as completely and quickly as [Steve] Bannon has.” The closest he comes is Father Coughlin from the 1930s. I can come no closer. However, Bannon’s fall reminds me of what happened to David Stockman in the 1980s. In some ways the comparison seems inapt. Stockman, who served as President »

After the Trump-Bannon divorce

Featured image I have viewed President Trump as bridging the divide in the Republicans party between its establishment and populist-nationalist wings. Trump attempted to play that role in 2017. For example, he supported the establishment candidate in the Alabama Senate primary, but then bucked the establishment by backing the populist candidate in the general election even after that candidate found himself in severe difficulty. Trump also bridged the gap in the realm »

Two strands of Never-Trumpism

Featured image I see the Never Trump movement splitting into two strands. John described the first strand here. It’s the view that most of the things Trump has done as president in terms of personnel and policy are desirable but that they are outweighed by the things Trump does that, in Bill Kristol’s words, “degrad[e] our public life.” So stated, this strand of Never-Trumpism is hard to defend, for the reasons John »

It Is Time to Pull the Plug on Never-Trumpism

Featured image As President Trump’s first year in office draws to a close, even the Democrats have been forced to admit that he has accomplished quite a lot. While it pains Democrats to acknowledge Trump’s successes, those successes probably pose more of an existential crisis for the Never Trumpers. They, too, have had to re-examine their premises in light of the president’s track record through (almost) one year. From InstaPundit: BRET STEPHENS »

Power Line’s Top Posts of 2017

Featured image “Top” means most widely read, of course, not best or most influential. Still, it is fun to look back and see what posts got the most attention from our readers in 2017. The year’s most-read post, with 150,933 views, was Proof that James Comey Misled the Senate Intelligence Committee, which I wrote on June 10. It was inevitable, I suppose, that many of our top posts related to the storm »

Disruptive politics in the Trump era [UPDATED]

Featured image John Fonte, writing in American Greatness, sees the crucial question for the American Right as this: What is the nature of its confrontation with modern liberalism? Is it, “a coherent debate between left and right forms of liberalism” to use the words of Yuval Levin? Or is it, a much deeper struggle over the very nature of the American “regime” itself — its principles, values, institutions, mores, culture, education, citizenship, »

Are conservatives more patriotic than liberals?

Featured image A new survey suggests they are. The survey was conducted by American Culture & Faith Institute. Its report can be found here. The study identified certain propositions that those surveyed believe are an accurate description of what it means to be patriotic. It then determined the extent to which conservatives and liberals view each proposition as accurately describing patriotism. Below are the six propositions that at least 70 percent of »

A Whittaker Chambers Xmas

Featured image I was reminded that a friend asked me to recommend a book about Whittaker Chambers as a Christmas gift for her smartly conservative daughter a few years ago. Chambers stands at the center of an incredible drama and four fantastic books about it. There is still much to be learned from Chambers and his case. It occurred to me that some readers might appreciate another look at these recommendations including »

A Turning Point for America’s Campuses

Featured image In six short years since it was founded by 18-year-old Charlie Kirk, Turning Point USA has become a powerful force on America’s college campuses, with over 1,200 chapters across the country. Turning Point promotes free market, limited government policies in a fun, aggressive manner that is attuned to young people. Tonight Charlie Kirk gave a speech at the University of Minnesota, sponsored by the TPUSA chapter there. My wife and »

Tom Cotton and the future of Trumpism

Featured image Last night, in a post about Tom Cotton, I suggested that the Senator might be one who, along with President Trump himself, helps “shape Trumpism into a functional, more traditionally conservative but still nationalistic approach to governing.” David Azerrad of the Heritage Foundation discusses the kind of synthesis I had in mind. Perhaps the greatest shortcoming of Trumpist populism, in its current form at least, is that it can at »

Has the Republican Party “surrendered” to Trump?

Featured image I respect Bill Kristol, Sen. Jeff Flake, and every other conservative who takes a principled anti-Trump stand. I don’t much respect Sen. Bob Corker who supported candidate Trump and reportedly wanted to be his Secretary of State, only later to “discover” what most of us knew all along– Donald Trump is a bad guy. I don’t disagree with many of the criticisms leveled at President Trump by Kristol, Flake, and »

The establishment vs. the populists: How deep is the divide?

Featured image Victor Davis Hanson persuasively makes a point I’ve raised less cogently from time to time: The ideological differences between the “establishment” and “populist” wings of the Republican party/conservative movement are overstated: Hanson writes, “the populist-nationalist wing is said to be irreconcilable with the establishment mainstream, but it is hard to see where too many of the lasting irreconcilable differences lie — other than the same old gripe over politicians who »

Mark Steyn returns

Featured image Mark Steyn appeared in Minneapolis as the featured speaker of the Center of the American Experiment’s fall briefing last night. The center’s site is here and its hot new issue of Thinking Minnesota has been posted online here. Let me say at the top that Mark Steyn recommends Katherine Kersten’s cover story on the rot in the Edina public school system. Our own John Hinderaker is president of the center. »

The Alt-Right vs. the Ctrl-Left

Featured image A couple weeks back, before the events in Charlottesville blew up the world and gave a stimulus-style boost to the statue-removal industry (public infrastructure in reverse?), I asked on Twitter for definitions of the “alt-right,” and baited liberal readers to explain how or whether they distinguished between the “alt-right” and the generic “right” that liberals also seem to hate just as much. One reason for doing this is that for »

CRB: In praise of Thomas Sowell

Featured image This morning we conclude our preview of the new (Summer) issue of the Claremont Review of Books. In our preview of the issue I passed over outstanding reviews and essays by Charles Kesler (on campus protest then and now), William Voegeli (on “diversity”), James Ceaser (on the current populist wave), Harvey Mansfield (on “polarization”), Algis Valiunas (on Frank Lloyd Wright), Brian Anderson (on Jane Jacobs) and others. Subscribe at the »