Matt Lewis

Good news: Traditional conservative doesn’t mean ‘nativist’

Photo of Matt K. Lewis
Matt K. Lewis
Senior Contributor
  • See All Articles
  • Send Email
  • Subscribe to RSS
  • Follow on Twitter
  • Bio

      Matt K. Lewis

      Matt K. Lewis is a senior contributor to The Daily Caller, and a contributing editor for The Week. He is a respected commentator on politics and cultural issues, and has been cited by major publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Matt is from Myersville, MD and currently resides in Alexandria, VA. Follow Matt K. Lewis on Twitter <a>@mattklewis</a>.

With much talk about the Hispanic vote and the Asian vote and the youth vote, the American Conservative’s Daniel McCarthy has penned a terrific column explaining why traditional conservatism shouldn’t equate to nativism.

As McCarthy explains, conservatism is

a tradition, after all, that by convention begins with an Irishman serving in the English Parliament, a man who was of the Church of England but had a Catholic mother and sister. After Burke, the 19th-century apostle of “One Nation” conservatism was an Anglican and a Jew, Benjamin Disraeli; while a century later and an ocean away, Barry Goldwater would joke that the first Jewish major-party nominee for president had to be Episcopalian.

And, of course, there was Reagan, a former denizen of Hollyweird who had a Catholic father.

The fact that conservatism has come to represent a sort of nativist populism is an unfortunate, if ironic, turn of events. As McCarthy notes, “the populist right demands conformism along the lines once laid down by progressive nationalists such as Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt.”

Read the whole thing here.