Moments before the debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton began, people remarked how surreal the experience would be. Who would have thought, a year ago, that the first presidential debate would feature Hillary Clinton versus, of all people, Donald J. Trump? It is a feeling that Republicans and conservatives have experienced since Trump descended from an escalator in one of his skyscrapers more than a year ago. The dream-like quality of having a piece of the popular culture embed itself in politics is disorienting, disrupting. Tonight the world knows what it’s like.
How conservative is Donald Trump? It’s a question that’s been asked frequently since he entered the presidential race last June, but no one seems to have agreed on an answer. Many of Trump’s primary opponents criticized him for not being a “true conservative.” Even today, his critics note, positively or negatively, his departures from American …
Get a Star Trek fan talking—and believe me, we love to talk—and inevitably you will hear about the television and movie franchise’s optimistic portrayal of the future. The twenty-third century depicted in the series is a liberal utopia. There is no racism, no poverty, no war, no pollution, and no money. Instead there is world government.
Senator Rob Portman of Ohio is not exactly Mr. Personality. He’s not a culture warrior or a populist firebrand. He’s a soft-spoken wonky Baby Boomer interested in budgets, finance, and taxes. He won’t be seen with Donald Trump but welcomed former boss George W. Bush to a private fundraiser last month. Also, he enjoys a significant lead over challenger Ted Strickland.
I spent some time this summer with high school and college students, teaching courses in the foundations of liberalism and in the intellectual history of postwar American conservatism. It was great fun. The classes were lively, welcoming, and intellectually curious, and taking a break from the 2016 election was nothing less than a joy. I used to think that when I got drummed out of Washington I’d drive a taxi. Not anymore.