Pete Spiliakos is a columnist for First Things.

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Persevere and Learn (and Persevere)

From Web Exclusives

The disaster of this presidential election is a long time in coming—it will spawn disasters beyond our imagining—and yet it remains our responsibility to persevere and make the best of our challenges and opportunities as they come upon us.The first thing is to steel ourselves for a disaster in . . . . Continue Reading »

Kempism is Dead

From Web Exclusives

The results of the New York Republican primary should be the final proof that conservatives should move beyond the Jack Kemp model of politics. But you shouldn't listen to me. You should listen to Jack Kemp's former constituents.Jack Kemp brought a great deal of optimism to the often dreary and . . . . Continue Reading »

Donald Trump and Plain English

From Web Exclusives

What is Donald Trump for? What is Ted Cruz for? The answer depends on who you are. For a person who pays close attention to politics, Trump’s positions can look like a tangle of contradictions, bluffs, and outright nonsense, while it is easy to check off Cruz's positions on abortion, gay marriage, . . . . Continue Reading »

Trump and the American Alliance System

From Web Exclusives

The cliché is that Donald Trump says what people think. On foreign policy, that cliché is actually true. Trump’s phone interview with the New York Times has been roundly mocked by political observers. In the transcript, he comes across more like a belligerent drunk than a potential president, . . . . Continue Reading »

The Passé Passes Again

From Web Exclusives

The Republicans are reliving the Democratic Party's nightmares. The cancelled Donald Trump event of Friday March 11 seemed to presage 1968-style disruptions at political events, but 1968 might not be the right analogy. As the party of tired myth and exhausted agenda, the Republicans of 2016 most . . . . Continue Reading »

Getting it Right with the Constitution

From Web Exclusives

The sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia forces us to reconsider the role that the Constitution plays in our rhetoric and in our imagination. Our constitutional system is more fraught than most of us had dared admit, even as our politics has leaned ever-more-strongly on the Constitution to unify . . . . Continue Reading »

The Stuntmen and the Lost Voters

From Web Exclusives

The last two presidential elections have seen joke candidacies and the joke is on us. In 2012, Herman Cain jumped into the lead for the Republican nomination on the basis of being able to serenely intone 9-9-9 (shorthand for a tax plan that even he did not always seem to understand). In our current . . . . Continue Reading »