Conservatism

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 »

More Sass and Sense From Ben Sasse

Featured image I think Power Line was among the very first outfits (after Mark Hemingway at the Weekly Standard) to take note of Ben Sasse of Nebraska back in 2013, when he was still in academia and a run for U.S. Senate was notional, but by now people are starting to wake up to the fact that he’s the real deal. In this 90-second clip, NBC’s Chuck Todd asks Senator Sasse to »

Mindless responses to National Review’s “Against Trump” essays

Featured image Fox News is a large outfit with plenty of on-air personalities. So it’s natural that some of them are pro-Donald Trump, or at least anti-anti-Trump, and that therefore some reacted negatively to National Reviews “Against Trump” issue. The problem is the mindlessness of some of the negative reactions. John Daly documents them at NR’s Corner. Take Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro. She said on Twitter: “The National Review needs »

Forrest McDonald, RIP [with comment by Paul]

Featured image Sad news yesterday of the passing of one of the great conservative historians of our time, Forrest McDonald, at the age of 89. He taught for many years at the University of Alabama, and was the author of several important revisionist works on American history, including a favorable biography of the great electric utility executive Sam Insull (one of the “economic royalists” that FDR hunted down with mixed success during »