The Gateway Pundit explains the impact of National Conservatism with American Conservatism.

Conservative Movement Divided: The Battle for the Future of American Conservatism

In a time of political unrest and ideological divide, the conservative movement in America finds itself at a crossroads. The clash between traditional values and a desire for change has sparked a heated debate within the conservative community. The battle for the future of American conservatism has been raging for several years, with the emergence of a new faction known as the new New Right challenging the established norms of the old New Right.

Founded in 1955 by William F. Buckley, Jr., National Review quickly became the flagship publication of the American conservative movement. The magazine brought together traditionalists and libertarians, who, despite their mutual antagonism, formed an alliance against progressive ideologies at home and abroad. This understanding of conservatism, known as fusionism, emphasized the preservation of limited government and traditional morality, reflecting the principles of America’s founding era.

Ronald Reagan, the iconic leader of the conservative movement, embodied fusionism during his presidency from 1981 to 1989. Reagan’s tax cuts, deregulation, and strong stance against Soviet communism led the nation to victory in the Cold War. He defended individual freedom, limited government, and traditional morality, setting the tone for conservative principles for decades to come.

However, the new New Right, dissatisfied with the current state of conservatism championed by Buckley and Reagan, seeks to break free from the old conservative sensibilities and enact dramatic change in response to what they perceive as American decline. This faction sees disarray and decadence in American society, with concerns ranging from a left-leaning popular culture to the weaponization of federal bureaucracy.

Charles Kesler, a prominent conservative thinker, argues that the new New Right has valid concerns but may be leading astray. In his analysis of National Conservatism versus American Conservatism, Kesler maintains that the traditional conservative values of limited government and traditional morality are better suited to American political culture and constitutional government. He cautions against prioritizing an abstract theory of the nation over the fundamental principles of American conservatism.

The national conservatism movement, as Kesler observes, emphasizes the defense of the nation against various threats, both domestic and international. However, he criticizes the movement for deviating from the core principles of American nationalism, stressing the importance of equal rights, individual freedom, and consent of the governed.

Moreover, the new New Right’s inclination towards a more nationalist approach, as advocated by figures like Yoram Hazony, raises concerns about straying from America’s founding principles of liberty and limited government. Kesler argues that the upsurge of progressivism in post-1960s America was not due to adherence to natural rights and limited government but rather a departure from these principles.

In conclusion, Kesler warns against the re-writing of American conservatism along new, less distinctly American lines, emphasizing the importance of staying true to the core values that have guided the conservative movement for decades. The battle for the future of American conservatism continues, with traditionalists and reformists grappling for control of the movement’s direction.

Peter Berkowitz, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, offers a thoughtful analysis of the conservative divide and calls for a recommitment to the principles that have shaped American conservatism. As the debate rages on, it is clear that the conservative movement is at a critical juncture, with the future hanging in the balance.