Tag: Ross Douthat

ACF PoMoCon #13: Very Online Conservatism


My series on new developments and developing writers in conservatism continues. Here’s my PoMoCon talk with Tanner Greer, who’s writing a book on America since 2003 for Tyler Cowen, about old conservatism’s Trump-shock and new, Very Online Conservatism’s Great Awokening shock. Tanner has an NRO essay criticizing Reform Conservatism while agreeing with its reformist intentions and time-honored purposes. He argues that older conservatives worry about politics, whereas newer conservatives seem to worry about the very ground of politics. The previous assumptions about institutions are upended, down to the family, so it’s no longer a matter of how should we be doing things, but who even are we!

Is a Decadent America a Technologically Stagnant America?


Has America been technologically stagnant for a half-century? That’s apparently one of the main arguments found in New York Times columnist and AEI visiting fellow Ross Douthat’s upcoming book, The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success.

Now, I haven’t read this book. But it was just reviewed by entrepreneur and venture capitalist Peter Thiel, who quotes the following passage, I assume accurately: “Over the last two generations,” Douthat writes, “the only truly radical change has taken place in the devices we use for communication and entertainment, so that a single one of the nineteenth century’s great inventions [running water] still looms larger in our every­day existence than most of what we think of as technological breakthroughs nowadays.”

So the Robert Gordon thesis, as well as Thiel’s Twitter vs. Flying Cars argument. And this stagnation is a result of, well, “decadence,” I suppose. Now since I have not read the book, I will keep my analysis general.

Converting Campaign Success Into Policy Success


Good old AM talk radio had me going once again this morning. My favorite morning host, Dan Proft, was talking with Ross Douthat when I got into the car and started my commute. One of the first things that pierced into my consciousness, through the guy doing 25mph in a 40mph zone and the woman creeping out into the intersection of the four way stop before it was her turn, was Ross Douthat talking about how good the Trump campaign was in talking about issues that connected with the voters. He quickly went on to add, though, that Trump hasn’t been good at converting campaign success into good policy.

I pulled over. If anyone had been looking at me they probably would have thought I was having a hands-free conversation with someone on my cell phone. In reality, I was having a one-sided discussion (heated discussion) with my radio.

Member Post


Fr. James Schall, S. J., and Ross Douthat of the New York Times, are not only men who make keen observations on the life of the Church today, they are also excellent writers. And they did not fail with their latest pieces. If you have any interest at all on the Church in the world […]

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