Magazine August 26, 2019, Issue

Why I’m Not a Liberal

Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln sculpted on Mount Rushmore National Memorial, S.D. (Courtesy NPS/Reuters )
Burke over Locke

Should conservatives think of themselves as classical liberals? In his new book, The Conservative Sensibility, George Will will have American conservatives only as “the custodians of the classical liberal tradition.” In Will’s telling, the alternative visions for the Right involve squalid worship of blood and soil. But this is an incomplete picture. 

Because conservatism grew up as a hesitation in the liberal tradition, and because traditional conservatives and classical liberals find themselves allied so closely against progressivism and socialism, their vocabulary and self-conception are almost conjoined. Untangling them can almost sound like a riddle: A classical liberal believes man is free

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Bill de Blasio has spent so much time in Iowa that when he gets back home, he’ll complain about the prices.

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