Jonah invites fellow conservative history geek Matt Continetti of the Washington Free Beacon to explore the past, present, and future of conservatism as an ideology and as a movement. They pick up heaping helpings of neoconservatism, paleoconservatism, libertarianism, and Reaganism en route to a dessert of denouncing Sonny Bunch.

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There are 24 comments.

  1. Member

    This was truly a great podcast! Very interesting and enjoyable.

    And, Jonah, I am completely with you on Populism: There is virtually nothing about it that is good. Jay Nordlinger quotes Buckley as saying that there is a streak of Populism in Conservatism. I’m sure he meant that in a relative basis. As with this comment about the Boston Telephone book and the Harvard Faculty.

    • #1
    • November 21, 2017 at 4:00 pm
    • 2 likes
  2. Coolidge

    I’ve long wondered about the Washington Free Beacon’s initials.

    • #2
    • November 21, 2017 at 6:11 pm
    • 3 likes
  3. Member

    There was a magical time in the 1950’s when you could attend certain dinner parties in New York and be insulted and talked down to by Murray Rothbard, Ayn Rand, William F. Buckley, and Ludwig von Mises – all in one evening! I would very much like to hear an episode of The Remnant dedicated to that.

    • #3
    • November 21, 2017 at 11:36 pm
    • 4 likes
  4. Member

    Great podcast, I really love all of the history of the conservative movement stuff. A question comes to mind: Where did Harding and Coolidge come from? Interwar conservatism certainly seems to fit the mold of each generation of conservatives defining itself in opposition to wartime periods of progressive advance, yet is so often presented in as disconnected from either the canonical beginnings of the conservative movement in the early 5o’s or the preexisting classical liberal/libertarianism. I read Amity Schlaes’s book on Coolidge several years ago, and while my memory may be faulty it seemed as if Coolidge’s worldview was described as developing out of native thrift as well as his own gradually accreting thought’s on “commerce.” I wonder if the answer is the same as to Continetti’s rhetorical question on Christianity: The Catholics were catholic all along. It’s merely terminology which changes as consensus dissipates. In other words do conservatives flatter themselves as members of a “movement” when our ideology boils down to a defense of what the average housewife in the 19th century would understand as the basis of a free and decent society?

    • #4
    • November 22, 2017 at 2:23 am
    • 2 likes
  5. Lincoln

    You should list all the books here – preferably with links.

    • #5
    • November 22, 2017 at 6:24 am
    • 3 likes
  6. Lincoln

    So I have a huge question: I listen to all the Podcasts here via subscription to Ricochet. Why do all the Casters ask for us to subscribe to other platforms like iTunes and Google Play? Do these subs here not count?

    • #6
    • November 22, 2017 at 7:32 am
    • 3 likes
  7. Coolidge

    Umbrasjg (View Comment):
    So I have a huge question: I listen to all the Podcasts here via subscription to Ricochet. Why do all the Casters ask for us to subscribe to other platforms like iTunes and Google Play? Do these subs not count?

    I listen on the Ricochet webpage on my desktop.

    • #7
    • November 22, 2017 at 8:36 am
    • 2 likes
  8. Member

    Umbrasjg (View Comment):
    So I have a huge question: I listen to all the Podcasts here via subscription to Ricochet. Why do all the Casters ask for us to subscribe to other platforms like iTunes and Google Play? Do these subs here not count?

    I’ve wondered this myself. I have a laptop, and I listen to the Ricochet Podcasts that way, with the exception of the Commentary one. It used to be be that this Podcast would just stop, like after a minute. I subscribe to the print edition, and the digital publisher told me I could find it on Soundcloud. So, now I listen to it almost exclusively there. Along with Ben Shapiro.

    • #8
    • November 22, 2017 at 11:17 am
    • 3 likes
  9. Admin

    Umbrasjg (View Comment):
    So I have a huge question: I listen to all the Podcasts here via subscription to Ricochet. Why do all the Casters ask for us to subscribe to other platforms like iTunes and Google Play? Do these subs here not count?

    Because the vast, vast majority of our listeners consume the shows on mobile devices and the easiest way to get the shows on mobile devices is to subscribe. Secondarily, our advertisers pay us based on our download numbers, and subscribing helps insure that our download numbers keep growing. While we very much appreciate those of you who listen on the player on the site, it’s not the most efficient way to make sure you hear all the shows. That would be Ricochet’s SuperFeed which aggregates all the shows we produce and distribute in one place. You can subscribe to it in iTunes here. 

    • #9
    • November 22, 2017 at 11:57 am
    • 1 like
  10. Coolidge

    George Townsend (View Comment):

    Umbrasjg (View Comment):
    So I have a huge question: I listen to all the Podcasts here via subscription to Ricochet. Why do all the Casters ask for us to subscribe to other platforms like iTunes and Google Play? Do these subs here not count?

    I’ve wondered this myself. I have a laptop, and I listen to the Ricochet Podcasts that way, with the exception of the Commentary one. It used to be be that this Podcast would just stop, like after a minute. I subscribe to the print edition, and the digital publisher told me I could find it on Soundcloud. So, now I listen to it almost exclusively there. Along with Ben Shapiro.

    I’ve had the same problem with the Commentary podcast. I have to download it to my phone to listen.

    • #10
    • November 22, 2017 at 12:02 pm
    • 1 like
  11. Admin

    Texmoor (View Comment):

    George Townsend (View Comment):

    Umbrasjg (View Comment):
    So I have a huge question: I listen to all the Podcasts here via subscription to Ricochet. Why do all the Casters ask for us to subscribe to other platforms like iTunes and Google Play? Do these subs here not count?

    I’ve wondered this myself. I have a laptop, and I listen to the Ricochet Podcasts that way, with the exception of the Commentary one. It used to be be that this Podcast would just stop, like after a minute. I subscribe to the print edition, and the digital publisher told me I could find it on Soundcloud. So, now I listen to it almost exclusively there. Along with Ben Shapiro.

    I’ve had the same problem with the Commentary podcast. I have to download it to my phone to listen.

    This is almost always an issue with the amount of memory allocated to your browser. Clearing your browser’s cache almost always fixes this.

    • #11
    • November 22, 2017 at 1:06 pm
    • 1 like
  12. Member

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):

    Texmoor (View Comment):

    George Townsend (View Comment):

    Umbrasjg (View Comment):
    So I have a huge question: I listen to all the Podcasts here via subscription to Ricochet. Why do all the Casters ask for us to subscribe to other platforms like iTunes and Google Play? Do these subs here not count?

    I’ve wondered this myself. I have a laptop, and I listen to the Ricochet Podcasts that way, with the exception of the Commentary one. It used to be be that this Podcast would just stop, like after a minute. I subscribe to the print edition, and the digital publisher told me I could find it on Soundcloud. So, now I listen to it almost exclusively there. Along with Ben Shapiro.

    I’ve had the same problem with the Commentary podcast. I have to download it to my phone to listen.

    This is almost always an issue with the amount of memory allocated to your browser. Clearing your browser’s cache almost always fixes this.

    Even though I’ve worked with computers for years, Blue Yeti, I still consider them some kind of disembodied thing from Venus. How does one clear the browser’s cache? And would it affect anything? I mean is it totally good?

    • #12
    • November 22, 2017 at 1:34 pm
    • Like
  13. Member

    I suspect that a lot of the anti-élitism is a matter of terminology. Most people in the conservative and libertarian spectrum are not against the demonstrable élite. We are, however, against self-appointed aristocracies of the media and governments.

    Also, what do you mean you’re for democracy if you’re against populism? Democracy enables populism. That’s why our Founding Fathers created a constitutionally-limited republic.

    • #13
    • November 22, 2017 at 2:15 pm
    • 2 likes
  14. Member

    All right, I’ll bite. What’s the story on the Sonny-Bunch-as-history’s-greatest-monster schtick? It’s very funny, but what’s the background?

    • #14
    • November 22, 2017 at 3:34 pm
    • 2 likes
  15. Member

    I feel that Jonah unjustly ignores the more intellectually hefty arguments for Trump and Roy Moore. Mr. Klavan has observed that Moore’s opponent supports abortion up until five minutes until after the baby is born. So the choice is between voting for a sleazeball or kids being killed. I agree with Jonah that it’s a bad thing to let Moore off the hook for his character flaws but isn’t the law more important than politicians?

    • #15
    • November 22, 2017 at 10:07 pm
    • 1 like
  16. Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    I suspect that a lot of the anti-élitism is a matter of terminology. Most people in the conservative and libertarian spectrum are not against the demonstrable élite. We are, however, against self-appointed aristocracies of the media and governments.

    Also, what do you mean you’re for democracy if you’re against populism? Democracy enables populism. That’s why our Founding Fathers created a constitutionally-limited republic.

    As I see it, a lot of people are busy calling everyone in Washing elitist these days. It is almost like calling someone a Nazi or Communist. You may be more selective in your use of the term. I do not think many today are. Also, I think you’d be better off saying that these people in the media and government, who are on the left, are being condescending. It is a better terms. Buckley was, arguably, an Elitist; he was not condescending.

    As far as Populism goes, I think Jonah is unarguably correct. We are a Republic. Democracy is the process we use to select those we should entrust good judgement to. Populism upends everything we are trying to conserve.

    • #16
    • November 23, 2017 at 4:54 am
    • Like
  17. Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    I feel that Jonah unjustly ignores the more intellectually hefty arguments for Trump and Roy Moore. Mr. Klavan has observed that Moore’s opponent supports abortion up until five minutes until after the baby is born. So the choice is between voting for a sleazeball or kids being killed. I agree with Jonah that it’s a bad thing to let Moore off the hook for his character flaws but isn’t the law more important than politicians?

    I completely disagree. Electing one Senator will see more kids being killed? Does the Supreme Court have anything to say about it?

    The Democrat in Alabama (I forget his name) is pretty bad. But electing Ray Moore would be a stain on conservatism, and on the Republican Party. The other guy is one man. He could no more bring on more abortions than Bernie Sanders, by himself, could bring on the destruction of our republic.

    • #17
    • November 23, 2017 at 5:01 am
    • 3 likes
  18. Coolidge

    George Townsend (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    I feel that Jonah unjustly ignores the more intellectually hefty arguments for Trump and Roy Moore. Mr. Klavan has observed that Moore’s opponent supports abortion up until five minutes until after the baby is born. So the choice is between voting for a sleazeball or kids being killed. I agree with Jonah that it’s a bad thing to let Moore off the hook for his character flaws but isn’t the law more important than politicians?

    I completely disagree. Electing one Senator will see more kids being killed? Does the Supreme Court have anything to say about it?

    The Democrat in Alabama (I forget his name) is pretty bad. But electing Ray Moore would be a stain on conservatism, and on the Republican Party. The other guy is one man. He could no more bring on more abortions than Bernie Sanders, by himself, could bring on the destruction of our republic.

    Like it or not, The Supreme Court has a lot to say about abortion.

    With the Senate so close, one Senator may make an enormous difference in court confirmations and laws.

    But Roy Moore is a stain on the right, and if elected, with be an enormous stain which will make it harder for honorable conservatives to get elected.

    • #18
    • November 23, 2017 at 5:13 am
    • 1 like
  19. Member

    George Townsend (View Comment):
    As I see it, a lot of people are busy calling everyone in Washing elitist these days. It is almost like calling someone a Nazi or Communist. You may be more selective in your use of the term. I do not think many today are. Also, I think you’d be better off saying that these people in the media and government, who are on the left, are being condescending. It is a better terms. Buckley was, arguably, an Elitist; he was not condescending.

    Possible responses:

    1. Yeah, but you’re obviously part of the establishment, man.
    2. On average, humans have never been very precise in their vocabulary usage. The English language exacerbates the condition by having a hundred words with various shades of meaning and etymologies for every meaning space, and nobody can keep them all straight, so they limit their vocabularies and use the words they know, even when other words fit more precisely. (Or mean what they really want to mean, but don’t know the word, but sort of heard it once and it sounded sort of like the word they are using, which means something totally different.)

    In short:

    • #19
    • November 23, 2017 at 5:14 am
    • 1 like
  20. Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    1. Quite possibly. Thank you. When Reagan was elected, he became part of the establishment. Thank you again. I am honored!

    2. This is terrific pedagogy, and undeniably true. It does not keep people from trying their best to be precise. Nor should it. Life is all about growth. And explaining why people act the way they act comes precariously close to excusing them from trying to improve themselves.

    • #20
    • November 23, 2017 at 6:01 am
    • Like
  21. Member

    George Townsend (View Comment):
    And explaining why people act the way they act comes precariously close to excusing them from trying to improve themselves.

    Maybe in your view, but never in mine. If you aren’t improving yourself, you aren’t living.

    • #21
    • November 23, 2017 at 11:00 am
    • Like
  22. Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    George Townsend (View Comment):
    And explaining why people act the way they act comes precariously close to excusing them from trying to improve themselves.

    Maybe in your view, but never in mine. If you aren’t improving yourself, you aren’t living.

    This does not contradict anything I wrote. I could not agree more that if you are not always improving yourself, you are not taking advantage of all the gifts God gives to us. What I was getting in is precisely what I wrote: Explaining comes very close to excusing. If it didn’t why bother explaining? One would just point out the error. l[

    I met someone at work many years ago, who has since become a dear friend. Whenever I explained to her an error that she was making, she never took offense. Like me, she believed that pointing out, with love, an error, was exactly that: Trying to be helpful.

    • #22
    • November 23, 2017 at 6:56 pm
    • Like
  23. Thatcher

    An interesting take was on the whole “the left side of things is doing X, so we have to do that too, to be effective”, in terms of media, and the Bannon thing. In other words, principle or moral be damned, we have to win, and then we’ll be the good guys again.

    This is a crappy analogy, but that’s something like not rushing into a burning building that you know has kids still inside, because no one around you is doing that, either. You’re just doing what they’re doing, regardless of any kind of moral or philosophical imperative.

    That’s a big fail. You might lose, and lose big, but you will have done so for the right reasons. That’s going to have to be enough. Otherwise you’d be contributing to the general degradation, the chipping away of everything, if you adopt the modus of the left.

    • #23
    • December 3, 2017 at 11:33 am
    • Like
  24. Member

    The problem they are up in arms about is not “elitism” writ large, it is the fact the “elitists” are so awful in our day.

    • #24
    • December 21, 2017 at 8:16 am
    • Like