What Price Will the Conservative Community Pay to Capitalize on the Era of Trump?
In the 1990s, I was referred to as the “guru of the communitarian movement,” although quite a few others deserved this title at least as much. I have hence been paying special attention to the sudden rise of a communitarian faction in the Republican party, led by Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Mitt Romney (R-Utah), as well as Oren Cass and his organization, American Compass. The faction’s ideas—its rejection of the hyper-individualism of the libertarian ideology (which has captured much of the GOP), its concern for the common good, and its recognition that the government has a major positive role to play—are much-validated by the pandemic. Although not all the positions of the faction are aligned with communitarianism, there are many points of overlap. At the same time, claims that the motives of the faction are purely political, that it merely seeks a post-Trump populism, are misplaced. Politicians can spot trends and amplify them.