Pete Spiliakos is a columnist for First Things.

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A Campaign That is Lost Every Day

From Web Exclusives

Many conservatives feel like they are living in a country they no longer understand and that does not particularly like them. There is some truth to those feelings. Millions of Americans only hear about conservatives when they (putatively) misbehave and about conservative ideas in ugly and distorted forms. The result is that many Americans who might otherwise be supportive of or indifferent to political conservatism range from passively to actively hostile. Continue Reading »

Don't Sweat the Donald

From Web Exclusives

Eleven percent of New Hampshire's conservatives favor crony capitalist, eminent domain abuser, supporter of single-payer health care, and all-around-buffoon, Donald Trump for president. But they don't really. A fraction of the Republican electorate is having some weird fun with the conventions and . . . . Continue Reading »

What Have We Learned From the Iraq War?

From Web Exclusives

Knowing what we know now,” would you have invaded Iraq? Jeb Bush stumbled over this question. His answer focused on whether Saddam Hussein's regime had active programs for weapons of mass destruction. But the mistakes relating to WMDs are neither the only, nor the most currently relevant, of the . . . . Continue Reading »

The Real Immigration Challenge

From Web Exclusives

Back in the 1990s, Newt Gingrich observed that every society faces an immigration challenge (this was when he was a somewhat more reliable ideas man). He said that there are geographic immigrants (who come from some other place), and there are temporal immigrants (who are born into society). It is . . . . Continue Reading »

Conservatives and Low-Skilled Workers

From Web Exclusives

People in the Republican establishment have been suggesting that conservatives can either try to appeal to working-class whites by supporting limits to future immigration levels, or they can try to appeal to Hispanics by seeking to increase future immigration levels. The truth is that conservatives have never had to make this choice. In 2012, Republicans chose to alienate both working-class whites and Hispanics. In the future, conservatives should try to appeal to both groups by focusing on the economic priorities of those groups rather than ethnic gamesmanship.In the 2012 campaign, Romney's combination of economic priorities and immigration messaging proved especially toxic. On immigration, Romney advocated no amnesty and hoped that current unauthorized immigrants would self-deport. For Hispanics (and possibly even for Asians—among whom Romney did even worse than among Hispanics), the message was that Romney’s love for business owners was exceeded only by contempt for immigrants (legal and illegal). Continue Reading »

Incoherence, Petulance, and Obama's Middle East Policy

From Web Exclusives

The Obama administration's Middle East policy is becoming something worse than a failure. It is turning into a combination of ideological tics and irritable gestures even as the worst actors gain power.Ross Douthat argues that the Obama administration is shifting the U.S.’s foreign policy strategy from a Pax Americana model (where the U.S. uses military force to impose order) to one of offshore balancing (where the U.S. strategically sides with one local power or another while keeping U.S. commitments to a minimum). If only that were what the United States was doing. A thoughtful policy of offshore balancing would be a dramatic improvement over policies that Obama is pursuing. Continue Reading »