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On Conservatism

Towards the end of an important essay on the state of the American conservative movement, historian George Nash observes, “In short, Trumpist populism is defiantly challenging the fundamental tenets and perspectives of every component of the post-1945 conservative coalition described in this essay.” From this dire conclusion, Nash asks, “But conservatives, more than ever, need minds as well as voices, arguments as well as sound bites, and civility as well as indignation. In this season of discontent, it might be useful for conservatives of all persuasions to step back from the fray for a moment and ask themselves a simple question: What do conservatives want? What should they want? Perhaps by getting back, very deliberately to basics, conservative intellectuals can begin to restore some clarity and direction to the debate.”