The Corner

How Effective is Conservative Philanthropy?

William A. Schambra of the Hudson Institute asks and answers:

When we consider the effectiveness of conservative philanthropy, then, I would argue that it doesn’t lie in some uniquely crafty or compelling architecture of think tanks and scholars.  As we’ve seen, the conservative apparatus is itself nothing more than an imitation of the progressive network that preceded it by half a century.  At any rate, progressivism had begun to unravel itself well before the conservative network had even been conceived. 

Nor is conservative effectiveness explained by simple and appealing ideas like freer markets and stronger values.  As we’ve seen, those ideas had long been in circulation on the right, but without much purchase on the American electorate, and without being able to remain long in the same room together.  I would argue that it’s only with the recovery of the principles of the American constitutional order – a genuinely unique contribution of the conservative foundations – that conservatism achieved the degree of theoretical coherence, patriotic allegiance, and fidelity to human nature essential for political success.

Also, Schambra recently hosted an event for NR’s Byron York, called “How Vast the Left-Wing Conspiracy.” Transcript here

John J. Miller is the national correspondent for National Review and the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. His new book is Reading Around: Journalism on Authors, Artists, and Ideas.

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