September 21, 2020

TRUMP KILLED REAGAN CONSERVATISM OR RESCUED IT? Gerald Seib of the Wall Street Journal is out with an arresting book assessing how the conservative movement that swept Ronald Reagan into the White House in 1980 ended up split in major ways over Donald Trump’s time in the Oval Office.

Having lived and worked through this epoch in American political history, there is more than a little of Seib’s analysis that I find inadequate, but this statement by Samuel Gregg in his review of “We Should Have Seen It Coming” is not part of those doubts:

“The push to deepen America’s economic engagement with China may have begun with the Clinton administration but it was a Republican administration which assented to China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in December 2001. The consensus was that greater immersion into global markets would increasingly liberalize China and its regime. That calculation lies in tatters today.”

It does indeed and you would be hard-pressed to find anybody on the Right today willing to argue the U.S. should reverse course in its present resistance to Chinese expansion around the globe. Gregg uses his Steib review as a tool for his own assessment of where the Right has been and where it is going. I’d be very interested in how Instapunditeers view Gregg’s analysis.

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