To appreciate why Adrian Vermeule’s Common Good Constitutionalism is important, it is necessary to evaluate not only his proposed approach to constitutional law but also the book’s political context.

In 2016, many Republican primary voters were deeply dissatisfied with the Republican “establishment.” To their mind, GOP officeholders made campaign promises to enact conservative policies, then failed to deliver. Even worse, they seemed to prefer approval from progressive media and intelligentsia to that of their own constituents. As a result, promised conservative policies seemed never to be adopted. All the while the Left was succeeding in its long march through elite media, education, and corporate institutions. Conservative Republicans—dubbed “Conservative Inc.” or “Big Con”—were the hapless Washington Generals to the progressives’ Harlem Globetrotters.

These voters wanted someone who would eschew political correctness. Someone who would fight! When they surveyed the 17 candidates on the presidential debate stage, these voters saw only one who was irreverent enough, fearless enough—and possibly crazy enough—to do what he promised and stand up for them. They viewed the rest as the same old posers. And so Donald J. Trump, who had never been a “movement” conservative, or a conservative of any stripe, and who was barely a Republican,

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