Learning the Wrong Lessons from Reform Conservatism

A Trump supporter holds an American flag at a rally in Madison, Ala., February 2016. (Marvin Gentry/Reuters)
The reform conservatives’ diagnosis of American society has aged well, but they overlook the cultural stakes of our contemporary political divide.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE D espite titling their recent essay for National ReviewThe Next Coalition of the Right,” Yuval Levin and Ramesh Ponnuru are less focused on the future than on the past. Levin and Ponnuru were leading lights of “reform conservatism,” an intellectual and political movement now deceased. Their essay is a postmortem of sorts: It sets forth an explanation for why the reformocon attempts to redefine the conservative agenda failed, and seeks to draw lessons from this failure for the future. The trouble: Levin and Ponnuru have learned the wrong lessons from the fall of their movement. At the zenith of the


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