What might have been

One of my biggest complaints at the beginning of the Trump insurgency was how so many conservatives who had long ignored — or heaped scorn on — reform conservative because its lack of purity, suddenly argued that the economic nationalism at the heart of Trumpism was necessary to win over the working class. Many of the same people who ridiculed talk of Sam’s Club Republicans and other arguments for applying conservative principles in innovative ways to new problems suddenly turned their ire on the very pointy heads who identified the problem Trumpism was supposed to fix. Maybe if more people listened a decade ago, the anxieties Trump exploited wouldn’t have manifested themselves to the point that Tucker Carlson’s tirade resonated with so many.

It occurs to me you can make a similar argument about the old push for “National Greatness conservatism” pushed by none other than Bill Kristol and David Brooks.

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