Defending Conservatism—From the Right

Former U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Sen. Lindsey Graham at the Faith and Freedom Road to Majority conference on June 24, 2023. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)


I’m on a train to New York, getting a very late start to the G-File. So I’m going to write this less like a newsletter—or even a “news”letter—and more like just a letter. I’m going to “open my kimono” as Hunter Biden likes to say, and divulge where my head is at these days. 

You might have noticed that I’ve been on a bit of a philosophical kick of late. There’s a reason for that. 

As I’ve said many times, during the Trump years I’ve never felt more politically homeless or more ideologically grounded. I think a lot of people, particularly people who feel the same way, understand what I mean intuitively. But I’ve found a lot of people don’t. Let me explain for a moment. I feel like I’ve been freed from a level of partisanship I never fully appreciated in myself when I thought conservatism and Republican politics were more in sync and their interests more aligned. I’ve lost the sense of obligation or compulsion I once felt to defend Republican positions. I was never a hackish water-carrier for the GOP (opinions differ!) but I confess that sometimes I was too quick to assume that if progressives or Democrats angrily insisted that Republicans were wrong, there’s probably something right about what Republicans were doing. Or, conversely, that if Republicans were angry about something Democrats were doing I should defend that anger. 

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