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In the last several months, I have debated some of the intellectual leaders of a group called the “national conservatives.” I consider myself a conservative (on most issues, though I lean more libertarian). National conservatives are well-meaning and make some very valid points about the things that are going in the wrong direction in America culturally and economically, especially in the post-COVID world under President Joe Biden.
Sometimes it really does feel like our country is decaying: Our government-run schools are rotten; there are more suicides, more drug overdoses; our border is out of control; our debt is growing exponentially; our basic First Amendment rights are under assault; our cities are starting to resemble third-world countries, and everything is more expensive. Biden, who pledged to be a unifier, is driving the country over a progressive cliff.
Need I go on?
But nat cons take their argument a step further and maintain that this squeeze on middle-class/blue-collar Americans predates Bidenomics, and America has experienced a 40-year secular decline of disappearing factories, income inequality, the decline of union power, and shrinking wages.
There are several prominent Senate Republicans — including Marco Rubio of Florida, J.D. Vance of Ohio