Though never in perfect harmony, free marketers, social conservatives, and defense hawks collaborated to form a functional and sometimes powerful conservative political movement over the last half of the 20th century. Since 2000, however, this ensemble has become increasingly discordant. No one development accounts for all internal tensions. The long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, followed by an open-ended military commitment to Ukraine, have led some conservatives to doubt that the defense hawks’ understanding of America’s national interest begins at home. Social conservatives worry that they are becoming the only conservatives still committed to resisting the sexual revolution and identity politics, including transgenderism, the newest front in the war against tradition and nature. At the same time, woke corporations make conservatism’s long-standing commitment to reducing taxes and regulations appear to have been unreciprocated and politically fruitless.

In 2019 First Things magazine published “Against the Dead Consensus,” a statement repudiating “warmed-over Reaganism” wherein “prudential judgments and policies” such as free trade were turned into “sacred dogmas.” The signers called for putting America and Americans first: “Advancing the common good requires standing with, rather than abandoning, our countrymen. They are our fellow citizens,

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