John Judis

John B. Judis is an editor at large at Talking Points Memo and the author of The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics.

Recent Articles

The Conservative Crackup

Conservative intellectuals are now facing some of their toughest adversaries ever—each other.

As late as 1950, investigators who set out to discover an American conservative movement would have failed abysmally. They would have found a large and fractious right wing ranging from isolationist followers of Senator Robert Taft (who insisted on calling himself a "liberal") to the anti-Semites and racists who joined Gerald L.K. Smith's Christian Nationalist Party. They might also have come across a group of Ivy League intellectuals such as McGeorge Bundy and August Heckscher who called themselves the "new conservatives" but would later be described as establishment liberals. The conservative movement that began emerging in the mid-1950s, particularly with the founding of William F. Buckley's National Review, was a novel creation that bore at best a family resemblance to the older American right and to British and European conservatism. It produced a new synthesis in American politics, blending militant anticommunism and opposition to the welfare state with nostalgia about America's...