From Tea Party Insurgent to Last Man Standing

There is an irony in the fact that Ron Johnson is the guy who will carry the mantle forward for the Republican Party in Wisconsin. Even he admits that. “I kind of sprang out of the tea party movement and was sort of a grassroots guy,” says Sen. Johnson about his entry into politics a […]

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The Era of Conservative Torpor Is Over

Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign is remembered for several things—none of them good. The highlights include failing to campaign in the “Blue Wall” states of the upper Midwest, commissioning fictional opposition research from FusionGPS that failed to move the needle with voters but forms the basis of Robert Mueller’s anti-Trump crusade, and describing Trump supporters as […]

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The Conservative Coward Caucus

It’s a truism that whenever Republicans are in the minority in Congress, they act like it but whenever the GOP has the majority, they still behave as though they are in the minority. Power seems to embarrass them. When I worked on Capitol Hill, I was amazed at how many various caucuses there were, particularly […]

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Up the Populist!

I listened the other day to Tucker Carlson’s populist dirge on what’s ailing America. Then I perused some rejections, critiques, and commendations of it. Then I shrugged. To be charitable, it certainly wasn’t their fault. It’s the fruit of our communication revolution, wherein the head rush from new media’s immediacy renders antiquated the sober digestion […]

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The Trans-Right Tantrum

In a now familiar scenario, a man with a cherished sense of identity, understanding himself to be something that he’s not, threw a tantrum because someone else refused to play along. It’s true that the experience of “playing pretend” can be diminished, when someone else refuses to be part of your fantasy world. Most of […]

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The Character That Matters

A few days ago, American Greatness published some thoughts of mine about Jonah Goldberg’s contention that “President Trump is not a man of good character” and that, consequently, his administration “will end poorly.” “Character,” Jonah says, “is destiny.” Trump’s character is bad. Therefore his destiny is grim. While acknowledging that the president is an imperfect […]

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Stuck in the Middle with Mitt

If there’s one thing about Donald Trump all right-thinking folks can wholeheartedly celebrate, it’s the way he’s made the masks slip on so many alleged conservatives. First to go were the #NeverTrumpumpkins (no names, please!), as their magazines foundered and their reputations declined along with the quality of their shticks. Also out the door are […]

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Permanent Things: Russell Kirk’s Centenary

Mark the uncanny hand of coincidence. When I began thinking about putting together a conference about the legacy of Russell Kirk last spring, I knew that we were in the middle of his centenary. We wanted to take advantage of that milestone, so we determined to hold the conference sometime in the autumn. After various […]

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The Beauty of Bre Payton

It would have been easy to resent Bre Payton. Blessed with rare natural beauty—she was even more stunning in person than she was in photos or on television—Bre seemed unaware or unaffected by her own physical gifts. I know this because when she sat next to me the first time I met her nearly a […]

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Why (Most) Right-Wing Intellectuals Hate Trump

More than two years into President Trump’s historic presidency, it behooves us to think more deeply about a persistent sticking point in the political life of the nation: Why do (most) right-wing intellectuals loathe him? This kind of nearly unified opposition cries out for explanation. After all, it is not simply that all left-wing intellectuals […]

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