Conservatism

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 »

Bullish on the Bard

Featured image Today is the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare (it may also be his birthday; his standard biographies merely say he was baptized on April 26, with his exact birthday uncertain), and while the Left has been trying to kill off Shakespeare for a long time now, they haven’t succeeded. I argue that the best insights on Shakespeare today are to be found from . . . conservative political »

Congratulations to the Ethics and Public Policy Center

Featured image Last night, I had the privilege of attending the Ethics and Public Policy Center’s 40th anniversary dinner. Rich Lowry was there and offers his congratulations, along with a short video. He calls EPPC an “indispensable organization (indispensable for conservatism in general and for National Review in particular given how much we benefit from the work and friendship of EPPC’s scholars).” I agree. EPPC is far from Washington D.C.’s largest conservative »

Where Are We Now?

That’s the open-ended title of the panel I spoke on last weekend at the West Coast Retreat of the David Horowitz Freedom Center (and special thanks to all of the Power Line readers in the audience who introduced themselves). Where do you go with such a wide-ranging title? I spoke from a few short notes that I scratched out the night before (which I have now lost), but I think »

The case against a third party candidate (continued)

Featured image Two weeks ago, I argued that conservatives should not run a third party candidate if Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination. I wrote: If Trump loses in a race involving an independent Republican, those who backed him will be able to shift the blame for the defeat to those who backed a third candidate. The “stab in the back” will challenge (and perhaps replace) the “foolish (to put it mildly) »

Trump too shall pass — the case against a third party candidate

Featured image In 1872, the Democrats were in such disarray (taking the wrong line on the Civil War will have that effect) that they backed a lifelong Republican, publishing tycoon Horace Greeley, for president. Greeley was trounced. Four years later, the Democrats reverted to traditional Democrat Samuel Tilden, who won the popular vote but lost the election. In 1896 and 1900, the Democrats nominated prairie populist and easy-money man William Jennings Bryan. »

A word from Edmund Burke

Featured image In the spirit of Steve Hayward’s occasional blasts from the past, I offer these words that have been going around in my head over the past week: Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites, — in proportion as their love of justice is above their rapacity, — in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is »

A disappointing season for libertarians and “movement” conservatives

Featured image I’m guessing that few sentient conservatives are happy with the way this election season is going. Two brands of conservatives will be particularly disappointed: libertarians and hard-core (or “movement”) conservatism. The libertarian movement has been pushing to break through for years. This cycle, it seemed to have the ideal candidate to make a run at the presidency — Rand Paul, dubbed “the most interesting man in politics” by Time Magazine. »

The Rush Endorsement

Featured image I was driving in my car down the California coast this morning doing what any sensible person would do—listening to Rush Limbaugh—when all of a sudden I heard my name! RUSH: I ran into something I found from 1978, Steven Hayward over at Power Line found it, reprinted it, and it’s some guy from 1978 named Harry Jaffa, “How to Think About the American Revolution.” But it’s not what you »

The Character of Modern Liberalism in One Paragraph

Featured image The character of the modern Left, and the core of the censorious campus leftism at the moment, has seldom been better described than by this 1978 passage from Harry Jaffa in How To Think About the American Revolution. Most importantly he understands that the distinction between liberalism and radicalism had dissolved, which explains Bernie Sanders, among other things. I’ve added a few comments of my own along the way in »

Transforming America, One State At a Time

Featured image As regular readers know, I retired from the practice of law at the end of 2015 and, on January 1, 2016, became President of the Center of the American Experiment, a Minnesota-based think tank. Both Scott and I have long been associated with the Center. We wrote some of our early papers for the Center and its founder and long-time President, Mitch Pearlstein. Both of us have served on the »