Editors’ Note: Charles R. Kesler’s cover essay for the Winter 2023/24 CRB, “National Conservatism vs. American Conservatism,” considered the manifesto published by the Edmund Burke Foundation, “National Conservatism:

A Statement of Principles,” arguing that, despite the new movement’s virtues, our politics requires instead a distinctively American conservatism upholding constitutionalism rooted in Revolutionary principles. We’ve invited responses from several of those who drafted and those who signed the Statement.


Yoram Hazony

The distinguished Claremont Institute scholar Charles Kesler has written a lengthy and at times passionate essay explaining why he did not sign the National Conservative movement’s 2022 Statement of Principles. I remain unconvinced by his argument. Kesler endorses the Statement’s principal aims and admits that many of his friends and associates have signed it. I think Kesler should sign as well. My colleagues and I would welcome it if he did.

Kesler’s reasoning about the Statement of Principles is troubled by a mistake a scholar of his stature should have been able to avoid. Rather than addressing himself to the Statement as written, he is determined to “examine this manifesto…closely”—which

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