Know Your Enemy

The Rise of the Illiberal Right

Episode Summary

From the recent Sohrab Ahmari-David French debate over liberalism to Republican gerrymandering and manipulation of the census, there's a lot happening on the right—and it's not good. In this episode, Matt and Sam connect conservative theory and practice to explain the illiberal politics that threaten American democracy.

Episode Notes

Interested in the background reading we did for this episode? There's a lot of it. But we want to show our work and give you the chance to dig deeper. Below are the articles we referenced, read, or drew upon for our conversation on the illiberal right.

Primary Sources:

Against the Dead Consensus, First Things

Sohrab Ahmari, Against David French-ism, First Things

David French, What Sohrab Ahmari Gets Wrong, National Review

R.R. Reno, What Liberalism Lacks, First Things

Romanus Cessario, O.P., Non Possumus, First Things

Edmund Waldstein, O. Cist., Integralism in Three Sentences, The Josias

Ross Douthat, What are Conservatives Actually Debating?, New York Times

Rod Dreher, The Meaning of the Benedict Option, The American Conservative

Adrian Vermeule, Integration from Within, American Affairs

Adrian Vermeule, A Christian Strategy, First Things


Matthew Sitman, Liberalism and the Catholic Left (a review of Patrick Deneen's Why Liberalism Failed), Commonweal

Emma Green, Imagining Post-Trump Nationalism, The Atlantic

Jane Coaston, David French vs. Sohrab Ahmari, Explained, Vox

Damon Linker, How the Intellectual Right is Talking Itself into Tearing Down American Democracy, The Week

Sam Adler-Bell, With Census Decision, Trump's GOP Falters in March to White Minority Rule, The Intercept

Isaac Chotiner, Interview with Ross Douthat on the Crisis of the Conservative Coalition, New Yorker

Eric Levitz, Oregon Republicans Flee State to Block Action on Climate Change, New York

Patricia Mazzei, Florida Limits Ex-Felon Voting, Prompting a Lawsuit and Cries of ‘Poll Tax’, New York Times

Adam Liptak, Supreme Court Bars Challenges to Partisan Gerrymandering, New York Times