Magazine June 24, 2019, Issue

In Defense of ‘Frenchism’

(Michelle McCarron/Getty Images)
Politics is not war

In May, New York Post op-ed editor Sohrab Ahmari published an essay in First Things with the eye-catching title (to me at least) of “Against David French–ism.” While the essay takes rather direct aim at me personally — including offering a false version of my career and beliefs to create a straw-man version of milquetoast libertarianism — his claims serve mainly as a proxy for two competing visions of American political engagement.

Ahmari’s stated desire is “to fight the culture war with the aim of defeating the enemy and enjoying the spoils in the form of a public square re-ordered

This article appears as “Politics Is Not War” in the June 24, 2019, print edition of National Review.

In This Issue



Special Section On the Law

Books, Arts & Manners



The Latest