The Trump Phenomenon: How Did We Get Here, and What's at Stake?




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Published on Jun 17, 2016

The polls were right, and the pundits were wrong. A Republican presidential field that was hailed as the most talented in a generation has been flummoxed, humbled, and finally beaten by Donald Trump. The Party of Lincoln is now firmly in the hands of a Manhattan billionaire, and conservatives seem hopelessly divided about how to proceed. Some embraced Trump early on and will continue to carry his banner in the general election. Others have made peace with him as the lesser of two evils. And some remain firmly in the #NeverTrump camp, committed to searching for a third option or simply staying home.

Whatever decision individual conservatives make come November, the time has come for the Right to reckon with what has happened. What can conservatives learn from Trump and from this episode? What is at stake for the Right should Trump prevail in November? If conservatives are to succeed in turning the nation back toward the principles of the American Founding, they will need to find answers to these questions and begin charting a path forward.

Martha Bayles
Film and TV Critic, Claremont Review of Books
Fellow, Hudson Institute
Associate Professor of the Practice of the Humanities, Boston College

Charles Kesler
Senior Fellow, Claremont Institute,
Editor, Claremont Review of Books
Distinguished Professor of Government, Claremont McKenna College

Wendy Stone Long
Co-Founder, Judicial Crisis Network
Former Litigation Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Former Clerk, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

William Voegeli
Senior Fellow, Claremont Institute
Senior Editor, Claremont Review of Books

Peter Wehner
Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center
Contributing Opinion Writer, New York Times

Michael Pack (moderator)
President and CEO, Claremont Institute

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