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Who Are the Best Conservative Columnists?

John Hawkins offers his 50 picks. I want your opinion to help narrow down my top 20.

Dave Swindle


December 5, 2012 - 11:00 am
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Weighing who goes where requires juggling multiple factors:

  1. Strength of prose.
  2. Originality of voice and personality.
  3. Quality, creativity, and effectiveness of arguments.
  4. Is the column really their best medium?
  5. Consistency of quality. (A great columnist needs to be strong every week — they can’t constantly hit or miss.)
  6. Impact they have on shaping both the current debates and conservative thought.

So here’s version 1 of the list. (I’ve put John’s ranking in parentheses after their name if they appeared on his list.)

15. Seth Mandel (not included)

14. Jonathan V. Last (not included)

13. Sean Trende (16)

12. Frank Gaffney (not included)

11. Ben Shapiro (20)

10. Walter Williams (6)

9. Jonah Goldberg (5)

8. Michael Barone (14)

7. Charles Krauthammer (17)

6. Daniel Pipes (not included)

5. Dennis Prager (13)

4. Mark Steyn (1)

3. Stanley Kurtz (not included)

2. Thomas Sowell (2)

1. Ann Coulter (4)

As stated, I’m not planning on budging on my last two choices — and will make my arguments in the completed list. But if anyone would like to make the case against Thomas Sowell and Ann Coulter as the Conservative Movement’s two top writing MVPs, then by all means…


Related at PJ Lifestyle:

23 Books for Counterculture Conservatives, Tea Party Occultists, and Capitalist Wizards

Mugged and Ann Coulter Derangement Syndrome, Part 2

The Dark Knight of the Sowell

The 15 Best Books for Understanding Barack Obama’s Mysterious Political Theology

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David Swindle is the associate editor of PJ Media. He writes and edits articles and blog posts on politics, news, culture, religion, and entertainment. He edits the PJ Lifestyle section and the PJ columnists. Contact him at DaveSwindlePJM @ and follow him on Twitter @DaveSwindle. He has worked full-time as a writer, editor, blogger, and New Media troublemaker since 2009, at PJ Media since 2011. He graduated with a degree in English (creative writing emphasis) and political science from Ball State University in 2006. Previously he's also worked as a freelance writer for The Indianapolis Star and the film critic for He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their Siberian Husky puppy Maura.
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