The Achievement of Yuval Levin

by Michael Potemra


The New Republic has an article by Marc Tracy noting that our friend Yuval Levin “has acquired a reputation as the conservative movement’s great intellectual hope.” Tracy tries to minimize what Yuval does as the work of “an expert rhetorician, with a knack for taking Republican positions that poll poorly and repackaging them.” But if you take the author’s negative spin out of that, it basically means that Yuval is taking economic ideas that are poorly understood — and therefore easy to reject — and explaining their coherence and their relevance. At a time when most Americans really don’t comprehend the economic mess we’re in, this is a noble and essential task — and someone who does it well is not a mere spin doctor (in Tracy’s dismissive phrase, “more operative than philosopher”) but a Paul Revere. That Yuval has a high reputation is a sign of intellectual health.

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