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

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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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.

Matt K. Lewis