Left and Right

The vintage GOP emerging has a much newer origin

By W. James Antle III The Week

In a Wall Street Journal excerpt of his forthcoming book, the American Enterprise Institute’s Matthew Continetti makes the case that the conservatism of today bears a striking resemblance to the right of 100 years ago, even if few people would mistake Donald Trump for Calvin Coolidge. Even post-Twitter ban, “Silent” Trump is not.

“Both [Coolidge and Trump] supported restricting immigration into the United States. Both wanted to protect American industry from foreign competition. Both sought to avoid overseas entanglements,” Contintetti writes. This is true, as is much of his account of why that older conservatism previously fell out of favor.

But it is also conspicuously missing out on why some elements of this conservatism have come roaring back to life. The word “Iraq” appears nowhere in this piece. We fast forward from the bombing of Pearl Harbor — which “discredited the right’s noninterventionist foreign policy” — to the defeat of Trump in the 2020 presidential election, when “the right has been driven from power at the federal level.”


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