Conservative Nation

Declarations of conservatism's demise after the 2008 election were greatly exaggerated. As the opposition, American conservatives are in their element—can they draw upon their intellectual tradition to solve what ails America?

Issue: Nov-Dec 2010

 LESS THAN two years ago, as Barack Obama moved into the White House, the conservative movement in the United States was in disarray, at war with itself, uncertain about its future, and badly damaged by events it did not foresee and could not explain. An unpopular war in Iraq and a financial crisis coming to a head in the middle of the presidential campaign seemed to discredit two foundational pillars of postwar conservatism: a nationalistic foreign policy and a reliance on free markets to spur economic growth. Naturally, there were those eager to overinterpret the results of the 2008 election, declaring the death of conservatism as an influential movement in American politics. George Packer wrote in the New Yorker, E. J.

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