Matthew Continetti, Editor in chief of the Washington Free Beacon, wrote a wonderful piece about what Russell Kirk really means to American Conservatism. At his core, Kirk develops these ideas in his 1953 book The Conservative Mind.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I would have to say one of the best political books in a long time. Charles Cooke, writer for National Review, clearly and openly debates the struggle of the Conservative and Libertarian wings within the Republican Party. This dense but quick read covers the history of the current Conservative Debate and how it is dominated by Social Conservatives, Fiscal Conservatives and Libertarians. The crux of his book is based around the idea that Libertarians can take advantage of both Social And Fiscal challenges in the Republican party by shifting the party narrative and embracing more moderate voters that are turned off by Progressive Democrats. Cooke builds his argument by using major writers in the Conservative media and Libertarian Writers.
One of the big short falls is that the majority of the narrative was written before the 2014 mid-terms and may come off as dated by the time it is published. A great plan for the second edition would be to go back and look at the progress of the Conservatarian Narrator in 2016 as the Presidential election approaches. I particularly enjoyed his narratives on Abortion and Foreign Policy as it relates to debates between both parties. Cooke lays out how both parties are simply using Abortion as a means to speak to their base instead of addressing the general public opinion and that foreign policy has been hijacked by Imperialist in both parties. Cooke is clearly in the Conservative camp but has a heavy leanings towards the Libertarian views as it is a means to break away from Social Conservatives who no longer align with moderate conservatives.
Anyone interested in how a millennial conservative is thinking about the power struggle between Neo-cons and Paleo-cons would be interested in this good read. It reads like a Libertarian primer written for the National Review, because that who he is and what he writes. Others have knocked it for being this but that is what makes the book great for the moment. It feels like Barry Goldwater‘s spirit is in the room as he would more than likely be with Cooke as Conservatarian.
ARC Read and Reviewed for NetGalley.