Government efforts to squelch purported misinformation and disinformation on the most contested subjects in American politics don’t stop with Cabinet-level agencies.
The National Science Foundation has awarded at least $39 million in grants and contracts in fiscal years 2021 and 2022 for projects that target misinformation or disinformation, frequently pertaining to COVID-19 and elections. Read More
Much has been made of the idea that the GOP and the American conservative movement in general are currently in the midst of an ideological “civil war” which began the moment Donald Trump left office. Supposedly, the Paul Ryan fusionist ideology of the GOP establishment is battling a new Trumpian populism, both intellectually and electorally. If such a civil war was ever really under way, it was over by 2016. Trump is overwhelmingly popular with the GOP base, and would capture the 2024 nomination effortlessly. Outside of National Review columns and CNN panels, NeverTrumpers are basically nonexistent, and even House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) now feels the need to adopt the Trump brand to stay politically relevant. The civil war is over. The “populists” won. Read More
November’s result should not obscure the fact that Trump bequeathed Republicans a winning populist strategy. The question is whether there can be populism without his persona. Republicans should seek to find out, or at least they should be if they have any political sense. Trump has drawn Republicans the populist blueprint; now someone else must build from it. Read More
A modern populist movement with the twin goals of expanding individual liberty and strengthening the bonds of community exists as a result of a communications revolution that has empowered people to control their own lives. That’s good news. The danger, however, is that the new populism will succumb to the old temptations of collectivism—a devolution made possible by the conflation and prioritization of virtual community over traditional community. Read More
During the show, Leahy went into detail about the two factors that are directly influencing the rise of a conservative populism movement. He noted that recent threats to second amendment rights in Virginia and the refugee resettlement issue in Tennessee are fueling the anti-big government push back. Read More