Commentary Magazine


Article Preview

What Is the Future of Conservatism in the Wake of the 2012 Election?—A Symposium

- Abstract

ELLIOTT ABRAMS

It always seemed to me that during the Cold War, what divided the people who thought we’d all end up incinerated by Soviet bombs from the people who thought it would all come out fine was not their political analyses. It was their temperament. Some people are more optimistic than others.

So it is with the future of conservatism. Some conservatives seem almost to frolic in their pessimism, describing the inevitable national glide down the path to perdition in gruesome detail. The antidote to such thinking is Reaganism, the sunny and optimistic view about America that not only characterized the man himself but captivated the nation.



About the Author

Elliott Abrams was a deputy national-security adviser in the administration of George W. Bush, where he led the National Security Council’s Middle East and democracy directorates.

Charlotte Allen is a frequent contributor to the Weekly Standard, the Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

Larry P. Arnn is president of Hillsdale College.

Michael Barone is senior political analyst at the Washington Examiner, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.

John R. Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and author of Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad.

David Brog is executive director of Christians United for Israel and author of In Defense of Faith.

Arthur C. Brooks is president of the American Enterprise Institute.

David Brooks is a columnist for the New York Times.

Linda Chavez is the author, among other books, of Out of the Barrio: A New Politics of Hispanic Assimilation. She is currently working on a novel about the Spanish Inquisition.

Matthew Continetti is editor-in-chief of the Washington Free Beacon.

Artur Davis, a former Democrat and member of Congress, joined the Republican Party in May 2012.

Rod Dreher is a senior contributor to the American Conservative and the author of Crunchy Cons.

Nicholas Eberstadt holds the Henry Wendt Chair in political economy at the American Enterprise Institute and is the author, most recently, of A Nation of Takers: America’s Entitlement Epidemic.

David Frum, a contributing editor to Newsweek/Daily Beast, is the author, most recently, of Why Romney Lost and Patriots, a novel.

Michael Gerson is a columnist for the Washington Post.

James K. Glassman, former under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, is executive director of the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas, Texas.

Jonah Goldberg is a contributing editor to National Review and a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

Hugh Hewitt is a lawyer, a professor of law at Chapman University, and the host of a nationally syndicated radio talk show.

Jeff Jacoby is an op-ed columnist for the Boston Globe.

Roger Kimball is editor of the New Criterion, publisher of Encounter Books, and author, most recently, of The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia.

Philip Klein is senior editorial writer at the Washington Examiner.

William Kristol is editor of the Weekly Standard.

Jay P. Lefkowitz, a lawyer in private practice in New York, served in the George W. Bush administration as senior White House lawyer and domestic policy adviser before being appointed special envoy for human rights in North Korea from 2005 to 2009.

Yuval Levin is the founding editor of National Affairs and the Hertog fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Tod Lindberg is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Heather Mac Donald is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor to City Journal.

Harvey Mansfield is a professor of government at Harvard University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Wilfred McClay holds the SunTrust Bank Chair of Excellence in Humanities at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Michael Medved is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and the author, most recently, of The 5 Big Lies About American Business.

Michael B. Mukasey, a lawyer in private practice in New York and former federal judge, was the attorney general of the United States from November 2007 to January 2009.

James Piereson is president of the William E. Simon Foundation and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

Daniel Pipes is president of the Middle East Forum.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor at National Review and a columnist for Bloomberg View.

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and the author, most recently, of Still the Best Hope. He is also founder of the Internet-based Prager University.

Paul A. Rahe, professor of history at Hillsdale College, is the author of Soft Despotism, Democracy’s Drift.

R.R. Reno is editor of First Things.

Jason Riley is a Wall Street Journal editorial board member.

Karl Rove, a former deputy chief of staff to George W. Bush, helped form the political action committee American Crossroads. He is the author of Courage and Consequence.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog at the Washington Post.

Reihan Salam is a policy adviser at Economics 21.

Fred Siegel is a scholar in residence at St. Francis College in Brooklyn and a contributing editor to City Journal.

Roger Simon is an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, novelist, and co-founder of PJ Media. His most recent work is the play The Party Line (with Sheryl Longin).

Bret Stephens is the deputy editorial-page editor of the Wall Street Journal and the author of the paper’s Global View column.

Mark Steyn is the author, most recently, of After America.

James Taranto is a Wall Street Journal editorial board member. He writes the Best of the Web Today column for OpinionJournal.com.

John B. Taylor, a professor of economics at Stanford University and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, is the author of First Principles: Five Keys to Restoring America’s Prosperity.

Tevi Troy is a senior fellow at Hudson Institute and former deputy secretary of Health and Human Services.

Peter Wehner is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center who served seven years in the George W. Bush White House. He blogs daily for Commentary.

George Weigel is a distinguished senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he holds the William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies.

Ruth R. Wisse is Martin Peretz Professor of Yiddish Literature and professor of comparative literature at Harvard University. She is the author, most recently, of the forthcoming No Joke: Making Jewish Humor.