Yuval Levin has been called "the most influential conservative intellectual of the Obama era," and the moniker fits. As editor of National Affairs — in my opinion, the best policy journal going on the right — he's been at the head of the "reformicon" movement, and his work has had a heavy influence on top Republicans like Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio. If you had asked me a year ago to name the conservatives likely to set the agenda for the Republican Party in 2016 and beyond, Levin would've been atop my list. And then, of course, Donald Trump won the Republican nomination.In this atmosphere, Levin's new book, Fractured America, reads like a warning. Written before "Make America Great Again" became the rallying cry of the Republican Party, it argues that both Democrats and Republicans were trapped inside a dangerous nostalgia, and tried to propose a way out. We talk about that way out in this podcast, as well as:- How Levin defines the Republican Party, and how he thinks it’s changed with Trump- Why Republicans misunderstand their own voters- His distinction between the conservative movement and the Republican party- Why he views Brexit and Trump’s rise as a kind of “counter-cosmopolitanism” - The role of nostalgia in our current politics- Why a universal basic income is the most interesting idea on the left today- How the free market undermines cultural traditionalism- The way in which we have cultural/moral arguments under the guise of debates about how efficient/effective policies are- What Levin learned working for Newt Gingrich and George W. Bush- Why you’d have to be crazy to want to be presidentIf you want to understand the Republican Party today, you should listen to this interview.
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