A call to arms for the growing movement of “Conservatarians”—members of the right who are fiscally conservative but socially liberal—and a fascinating look at conservatism’s past and future.
There is an underserved movement budding among conservatives, in which fiscal responsibility, constitutional obedience, and controlled government spending remain crucial tenets, but issues like gay marriage and drug control are approached with a libertarian bent.
In The Conservatarian Manifesto, Charles C.W. Cooke engages with the data and the philosophy behind this movement, applauding conservatarianism as a force that can help Republicans mend the many ills that have plagued their party in recent years. Conservatarians are vexed by Republicans’ failure to cut the size and scope of Washington D.C., but they are critical of some libertarians for their unacceptable positions on abortion, national defense, and immigration. They applaud conservatives’ efforts to protect Second Amendment rights—efforts that have recently been wildly successful—but they see the War on Drugs as an unmitigated disaster that goes against everything conservatives ought to value.
All movements run the risk of stagnation, and of losing touch with the principles and values that made them successful in the first place. In this book, Charles Cooke shows the way back to a better and more honest conservatism that champions limited government, reality-based policy, and favor for the smallest minority of all: the individual.
About the Author
CHARLES C.W. COOKE is a writer at National Review and a graduate of the University of Oxford, at which he studied modern history and politics. His work has focused especially on Anglo-American history, British liberty, free speech, the Second Amendment, and American exceptionalism. Charles is the cohost of the Mad Dogs and Englishmen podcast, and has broadcast for HBO (Real Time with Bill Maher), BBC, MSNBC, Fox News, The Blaze, CNBC, CTV, ABC, Sun News, and CBS. In addition to National Review, his writing has also been published by the New York Times, National Interest, the Washington Times, and the New York Post.
"Well-written and vital." -Tyler Cowen, bestselling author of The Great Stagnation
"Superbly well written and argued and deeply insightful. I found it particularly so on what I take to be the overarching policy implication of Cooke’s argument: the need for localism and decentralization to serve as core principles of the Right’s approach to the role of government and its case for limits on that role. This is a timeless truth that is nonetheless especially timely in 21st-century America." -Yuval Levin, National Review
"First-rate...A summons to conservatives to unite around the “timeless principles” that inform the American founding. In applying those principles to a host of prominent issues of public policy, [Cooke] demonstrates refreshing common sense, a confident command of empirical realities, and savvy political judgment." -Peter Berkowitz, Real Clear Politics
"Quite good...Can conservatives appeal to the folks who are tired of the shrillest voices telling them what to watch and how to live their lives? Probably not, if folks like Mike Huckabee have their way. But if the future belongs to the Charles C.W. Cookes of the world? Well, then maybe we have a shot." -Sonny Bunch, Washington Free Beacon
"Essential reading...Artfully weaving hard data (without descending into pedantic statistical lists) with relevant history, Cooke produces several compelling arguments covering an array of topic. Unlike books that dabble in theory but provide no realistically applicable suggestions, The Conservatarian Manifesto goes beyond thoughtful ponderance and illuminates a pathway forward." -Legal Insurrection
"For the growing number of us who have been straddling both conservatism and libertarianism -- with neither one offering a complete prescription for the right-leaning worldview -- Conservatarianism has arrived. Here, it is examined and argued brilliantly by the ever-astute and witty Charles C. W. Cooke. Prepare to hear The Conservatarian Manifesto cited quite a bit as we head towards 2016." –S.E. Cupp, host of CNN’s Crossfire, author of Losing Our Religion and Why You’re Wrong About the Right
“Can conservatives and libertarians find common ground and forge the next American political realignment? In this lively and provocative debut, Charles C. W. Cooke offers an unflinching, polemic-free diagnosis of the issues on which conservatives and libertarians agree (limited government, gun rights) and—more importantly—disagree (the drug wars, foreign policy, and immigration). Whether you lean conservative or libertarian, Cooke’s clear-eyed manifesto is an important read for anyone who wants to preserve and future-proof the Founders’ vision.” –David Burge, Iowahawk blogger “Charles C. W. Cooke is the most eloquent young voice for personal and political freedom on either side of the Atlantic. From the public square to the marriage altar, he makes the case for the most important of all rights—the right to hold unpopular views, to make unpopular choices, and even to be wrong.” -Kevin D. Williamson, correspondent at National Review, author of The End Is Near and It’s Going to Be Awesome “With the liberal project discredited by the Obama years, The Conservatarian Manifesto makes a strong case as to why -- and how -- libertarians and conservatives can work together. Must-reading for the current political era.” –Glenn Reynolds, blogger at InstaPundit.com and columnist at USA Today