Conservatism

Katie Kieffer: Message to the millenials

Featured image My young friend Katie Kieffer is one of two beautiful and conservative Katies with books out this summer. Katie Pavlich is the author of Assault and Flattery:The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women, seeking to corral women to the conservative cause. Katie Kieffer is out with Let Me Be Clear: Barack Obama’s War on Millennials, and One Woman’s Case for Hope, seeking to corral millennials to the »

George Will begs the question and blames America

Featured image Last year George Will wrote a disappointing column on the Obama administration’s interim deal with Iran. The problem with Will’s columns is its assumption that Iran can be contained/deterred. Will assumes without argument that doctrines of containment and deterrence are viable in the case of Iran; he assumes what is to be proved, i.e., he begs the question. Two fundamental problems undermine his assumptions. First, Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons »

Up From Liberalism—Now More Than Ever

Featured image I first read William F. Buckley’s classic 1959 treatise Up From Liberalism when I was in high school a long long time ago, and recently picked it up off the shelf for a quick re-reading.  And I’d recommend everyone read or re-read it, as many parts of it hold up extremely well, and could be deployed even more urgently today.  For example: The salient economic assumptions of liberalism are socialist.  »

Harry Jaffa on the Famous “Extremism” Speech

Featured image Paul noted yesterday the 50th anniversary of Barry Goldwater’s famous—or infamous—convention speech in 1964.  Has there ever been another convention speech before or since that is as well recalled for a single line?  Only William Jennings Bryan’s “Cross of Gold” speech comes close. Harry Jaffa, who turns 96 in a few weeks, reflected some time ago about the famous line—”Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice”—and his role in »

This week in conservative history — Goldwater’s acceptance speech

Featured image 50 years ago this week, Barry Goldwater accepted the Republican nomination for president with this speech. Today, it makes for a great and timely read. But the speech should really be viewed (and can be here; watch for Richard Nixon’s reactions) in order to understand its impact. The main impact of the speech, unfortunately, was to scare Americans. Indeed, although Lyndon Johnson’s campaign did a masterful job of scaring Americans »

Thoughts on Liberty on the Fifth of July

Featured image As we often do, we spent the 4th of July with our relatives in South Dakota. Independence Day is a good time to be in South Dakota, as the spirit of liberty shines a little brighter there than in some other precincts. This is manifested, in a small way, in the lavish fireworks displays that South Dakotans mount–not just towns, but individuals. People are not trusted with such dangerous explosives »

Where Are Libertarians When You Need Them?

Featured image Every major strand of American conservatism includes a strong libertarian streak, because the value of liberty is fundamental to just about all conservative thought. But today, especially, is said to be the libertarians’ moment. What once was a fringe movement, politically speaking, has moved front and center in our political life. And yet, in my view, libertarians of both the capital L and small l varieties punch below their weight. »

Crony capitalism and the GOP fault line

Featured image Yesterday, I discussed a new study by the Pew Research Center. It identifies two main groups of Republicans — “business conservatives” and “staunch conservatives.” The two factions agree on much, but they part company when it comes to their attitude towards corporations. Most steadfast conservatives say too much power is concentrated in the hands of a few large companies, and they are evenly split as to whether the economic system »

How deeply divided is the GOP?

Featured image The Pew Research Center is out with a study that, as characterized by the Washington Post, shows “the GOP faces continued instability because of profoundly different views on some issues held by those who identify with the party.” To me, the study presents a more mixed picture. The Pew study identifies two main Republican groups — the “business conservatives” and the “steadfast conservatives.” It finds significant commonalities between the two. »

Reform conservatism: Do conservatives want it?

Featured image The YG Network has produced a manifesto for reform conservatism, the movement spearheaded by leading conservative thinkers who want to enact innovative programs that will assist the middle class while adhering to principles of limited government. The book — Room to Grow — features chapters by Power Line favorites Peter Wehner, Yuval Levin, Ramesh Ponnuru, James Capretta (on health care), James Pethokoukis (financial and regulatory reform) and others. I look »

Young People and Conservatives: It’s a Two-Way Street

Featured image Lots of people are asking, what can conservatives do to better appeal to young voters? That is an entirely legitimate question, on which I have some thoughts. But they are for another day. At the moment, the point I want to make is that it’s a two-way street. A big part of the reason why more young people don’t vote conservative (i.e., as a practical matter, Republican) is that they »

If Young People Don’t Like Government, Why Do They Keep Voting For More Of It?

Featured image Harvard’s Institute of Politics released a poll yesterday that showed millennials’ trust in government at a historic low. This chart shows how many respondents said that they trust the entity in question to do the right thing either all of the time or most of the time. Notably, 20% of millennials said they trust the federal government to do the right thing; 32% said they trust the president; and 14% »

Essence of the Constitution

Featured image In his column today, George Will lauds a short new book by Timothy Sandefur, The Conscience of the Constitution: The Declaration of Independence and the Right to Liberty. Will provides a short course in the original understanding of the Constitution and the Progressives’ effort to remake it in the name of “democracy.” Please check out his column. The column presents a useful reminder of the difference between modern liberals and »

In search of the cavalry

Featured image Bill Kristol’s latest piece — “A Superpower Once Lived Here” — is a powerful indictment of President Obama’s ruinous foreign policy and, more importantly, a plea for vigorous, effective opposition. First, the indictment: Putin understands Obama’s message. He knows he’s won Crimea. The question is whether he’ll win Ukraine. He thinks he will. He’s dealing with the Obama administration, after all. He looks at the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and »

Subversive in Southern California

Featured image Last night, the Claremont Institute held its annual Churchill Dinner at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Ted Cruz was the keynote speaker. In anticipation of the event, posters featuring a tattooed Cruz popped up all around Beverly Hills. They showed up on telephone poles, car windshields, outside of popular night clubs, and elsewhere. (Note that whoever produced the poster got the venue wrong,) Click to enlarge file size: This is not »

Libertarian push-polling at CPAC

Featured image A poll of participants at the just concluded CPAC gathering in Washington, D.C. asked, among other things, “Do you favor or oppose the National Security Agency’s (NSA) use of data collection such as phone-tapping and reading of emails to combat global terrorism?” 78 percent of respondents said they oppose; only 19 percent said they are in favor. The question is ambiguous, I think. It could be construed to mean, “Do »

A Successful Meet Up In Minneapolis

Featured image Tonight Brian Ward and I sponsored a Power Line/Fraters Libertas/Ricochet meet up at Keegan’s Irish Pub in Northeast Minneapolis. It was a fun event. The turnout was excellent, and seemed even better because our group was packed into one end of the pub. We said hello to lots of old friends–like Mitch Berg, with whom I am going shooting tomorrow–and met many more new ones. We questioned whether our plan »