National Review, a great magazine well known for having essentially invented American-style conservatism, seems like it’s in an awkward position. Its editors dedicated the most recent issue of the bi-monthly to stopping an ascendant Donald Trump (“Against Trump” was the cover title) for among other things not being a conservative, but then Trump prominently shares the magazine’s increasingly open opposition to immigration. Though its editors would almost surely disagree, a possible reason the very much at odds National Review (NR) and Trump are both anti-immigration is because such a stance is itself anti-conservative.
To see why, consider NR’s January 25th issue. The always entertaining opening section (titled “The Week”) began with the following:
“Trump is wrong. Cruz is a natural-born citizen. But at least Trump is consistent about wanting to stop foreigners from taking jobs from low-skilled Americans.”
The part about protecting American jobs for American workers isn’t the first time the magazine has expressed such a view. It reads as anti-conservative mainly because conservatism has historically been associated with things like private property rights, small government, free trade and markets, openness to technology, disdain for central economic control, along with dislike of affirmative action. NR’s immigration stance arguably runs against all that was previously mentioned, and surely more.