Making Sense of the New American Right

Keeping track of the Jacksonians, Reformicons, Paleos, and Post-liberals.

I like to start my classes on conservative intellectual history by distinguishing between three groups. There is the Republican party, with its millions of adherents and spectrum of opinion from very conservative, somewhat conservative, moderate, and yes, liberal. There is the conservative movement, the constellation of single-issue nonprofits that sprung up in the 1970s

  • gun rights,
  • pro-life,
  • taxpayer,
  • right to work

— and continue to influence elected officials. Finally, there is the conservative intellectual movement: writers, scholars, and wonks whose journalistic and political work deals mainly with ideas and, if we’re lucky, their translation into public policy.

e Following Trump’s trip, Merkel says Europe can’t rely on U.S. anymore

saying that Europe “really must take our fate into our own hands.”

.. Merkel told a packed Bavarian beer hall rally that the days when Europe could rely on others was “over to a certain extent. This is what I have experienced in the last few days.”

.. it was a clear repudiation of Trump’s tough few days with European leaders, even as she held back from mentioning the U.S. president by name. On Thursday, Trump had tough words for German trade behind closed doors. Hours later, he blasted European leaders at NATO for failing to spend enough on defense, while holding back from offering an unconditional guarantee for European security.

.. Trump – who returned from his nine-day international trip on Saturday – had a different take.

“Just returned from Europe. Trip was a great success for America. Hard work but big results!” Trump wrote on Sunday

.. Trump was far more solicitous toward the autocratic king of Saudi Arabia earlier in the week, telling him and other leaders of Muslim-majority countries – many of them not democratically elected – that he was not “here to lecture.” Days later in Brussels he offered a scathing assessment of Washington’s closest allies, saying they were being “unfair” to American taxpayers.

.. “The belief in shared values has been shattered by the Trump administration,” said Stephan Bierling

.. Merkel has expressed willingness to jolt her nation’s military spending upwards, a first step both to answering American criticism that it falls far short of NATO pledges and to lessening its dependence on the U.S. security blanket. Germany hiked its military spending by $2.2 billion this year, to $41 billion, but it remains far from being able to stand on its own militarily.