George Will’s case for conservatism and how the Republican Party became “part of the cult” of Trump

With President Donald Trump leading the Republican Party, conservatism sure isn’t what it used to be, and in the eyes of a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist George Will, in need of a serious revival. Will outlined his defense of conservatism on “Salon Talks” during a conversation about his expansive new book “The Conservative Sensibility.”

First, Will is clear to draw a distinction between the Republican Party and the conservative movement. “The political party that has been the vessel of American conservatism for many years is not any longer. It is now a vessel of populism.” he told SalonTV’s Andrew O’Hehir.

Populism, according to Will, “is everything that conservatism isn't” and were “considered the fundamental political problem by the founders.” And while Will is careful not to name President Trump in his book, he advocates for Americans to consider how the principles at the core of America’s founding—questions about the nature of man, rights, equality and majority rule—and how they are playing out beneath the surface of today.

Watch the episode above to hear more from Will on where progressives fit into his idea of conservatism, his thoughts on vast disparities of wealth, and why the “real threat” is a consensus, that’s “as broad as the republic, as deep as the Grand Canyon.”

About “Salon Talks”

Hosted by Salon journalists, “Salon Talks” episodes offer a fresh take on the long-form interview format, and a much-needed break from the partisan political talking heads that have come to dominate the genre. “Salon Talks” is a destination for information through conversation. Viewers can expect discussions with A-list actors, artists, authors, thinkers, and newsmakers as we explore the full range of the human condition. The show streams live on Facebook and Twitter and each episode is published in full on

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