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Why America Needs National Conservatism
An American flag seen through columns at the United States Supreme Court. (Justin Tierney via Getty Images)
An American flag seen through columns. (Justin Tierney via Getty Images)

Why America Needs National Conservatism

Christopher DeMuth

Proponents of communism often say it’s never really been tried. Progressivism can no longer make that excuse. Its doctrines are being widely implemented by earnest practitioners with wide establishment support. The results have come in with astonishing speed. Mayhem and misery at an open national border. Riot and murder in lawless city neighborhoods. Political indoctrination of schoolchildren. Government by executive ukase. Shortages throughout the world’s richest economy. Suppression of religion and private association. Regulation of everyday language—complete with contrived redefinitions of familiar words and ritual recantations for offenders.

This makes an easy case for national conservatism. Natcons are conservatives who have been mugged by reality. We have come away with a sense of how to recover from the horrors taking America down.

When the American left was liberal and reformist, conservatives played our customary role as moderators of change. We too breathed the air of liberalism, and there are always things that could stand a little reforming. We could be Burkeans—with an emphasis on incremental improvement, continuity with the past, avoiding unintended consequences, and working within a budget. In the 1970s I collaborated with liberals on regulatory reform—refining environmental policies and restraining crony capitalism. Such bipartisan pragmatism yielded many improvements.

Read the full article in The Wall Street Journal

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