Tag: Trumpism

President Trump at CPAC 2021: We Must and Will Win


trump hot-rodPresident Trump pulled no punches. He is not supporting creation of a new party, insisting that the Republican Party must be the party of the U.S. Constitution and the American people, against the socialist, globalist Democrats, media, tech giants, and the RINOs. He pointed to all the promises he kept, despite Congress. He named names and promised to work for a Republican Party grounded in “Trumpism,” which he defined in a series of statements that sound like what the GOP has been paying lip service to for decades.

What follows is a lightly cleaned up (proper capitalization instead of ALL CAPS, plus obvious Close Captioning errors corrected) version of the C-SPAN transcription of President Trump’s 2021 CPAC address. Follow that link for the superior C-SPAN video (no annoying graphics and commentary). I italicized what seem to be his off-script riffs. I added logical paragraph returns and some section headers to help you read through this lengthy address. I bolded a few points. Finally, I added a few links.


Conservatism: An Abstract Philosophy or a Mode of Governance?


There is no question that the rise of Donald Trump has created a schism on the right. I’ve certainly had my run-ins with folks here on Ricochet, most notably @garyrobbins and @georgetownsend. While I vehemently disagree with these gentlemen on a lot of things, arguing with them has had its benefits, namely that they have pushed me to constantly refine, redefine and clarify my beliefs.

In a recent lengthy back-and-forth they provided me with this question on the state of things in the post-Reagan era: Is Conservatism just an abstract utopian philosophy, the inverse of theoretical Communism, or is it an actual and practical mode of governing?

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Andrew Klavan on the blunt force trauma that is Trump’s honesty. Enter President Donald Trump. He is a rude and crude person. He speaks like a Queens real estate guy on a construction site. And because he does not have good manners, he thoughtlessly breaks the rules with which the Left has sought to muzzle […]

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On August 1, Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona released a book called Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle. The title is obviously taken from Barry Goldwater’s 1960 classic. But the subtitle gives you a better idea of what the book is about. The “destructive politics” of […]

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How Important Is the Nation-State?


Today I’ve been reading over the first issue of American Affairs, a new intellectual journal that appears to have grown out of the (largely Claremont-based) American Greatness movement. American Affairs seems to understand itself as a possible seed-ground for exploring an intellectual foundation to Trumpism.

I should admit forthrightly that I look on this project as a skeptic, and as one who considers that the founders of this project have taken a large (not to say foolhardy) burden on themselves. I’m not, in general, the sort of person who seeks to shut down ambitious intellectual projects. But to my mind, the trouble with American Greatness was always the extent to which it understood itself in rejectionist terms. The spirit of the thing seemed not to be, “The right could use some fresh ideas around now, so let’s explore,” so much as, “The whole conservative movement is intellectually and (probably) morally bankrupt, so we’re starting over. Sign onto our program or be rendered irrelevant.”

That kind of “convert or die” attitude makes it hard to climb aboard, especially if you think (as I do) that there’s quite a lot of good to be found in the conservative movement from Buckley through the dawn of Trump. I’m in favor of exploring new ideas and making needed adjustments, but I’m also quite opposed to chucking free-market economics and neoconservative geopolitics as though they were groceries past their expiration date. Reading the American Greatness blog, I regularly have the same thought: This is all fine, but apart from the overt belligerence, these arguments could easily have been advanced in the conservative movement of yesteryear. What has your blanket excommunication accomplished, except to insulate yourselves from critique that would likely be quite helpful?