On January 21, staunch Trump critic Bill Kristol shared his perspective on the current state of the American republic. His lecture at the first virtual Montesquieu Forum — one day after Joe Biden’s inauguration — explored the future for centrists in the next phase of American politics.
In his thought-provoking conversation with Stuart Warner, Roosevelt University professor of philosophy, Kristol reflected on Trump’s norm-defying presidency, polarization and the spread of conspiracy theories. He and Warner talked about the future of both political parties as the Democrats take control of Congress and the presidency.
“Conservatives have probably done enough lamenting about how good things were in the past,” Kristol said. “Now it’s time to think about the practical challenges and begin to come to grips with them.”
Kristol was the long-time editor of The Weekly Standard and the founder of Defending Democracy Together. In the first year of Trump’s presidency, he and David Axelrod at Roosevelt’s American Dream Reconsidered Conference.
Held for the first time over livestream, the forum attracted Roosevelt students and faculty as well as political thinkers from across the United States. Kristol fielded questions about Trump’s impact on foreign policy and the future of the party system.
“It’s an interesting time for young people in particular to be getting into politics,” Kristol said. “This is a time of real uncertainty where people can make a difference and break away from signing up for one team or another.”
The Montesquieu Forum is part of the American Dream Reconsidered lecture series. Watch the full conversation on YouTube.
About the Montesquieu Forum
The Montesquieu Forum, founded in 2008 with a grant from the Jack Miller Center, advances the study of the classical and European heritage that informed the American Founding.
The Forum supports course work on political philosophy, covering texts from the Bible and such ancient writers as Plato, Cicero and Plutarch to the early modern writers like Francis Bacon, William Shakespeare, John Locke and Baron de Montesquieu. Learn more.
About the BA in Philosophy
Through deep and precise reading in philosophical texts, students not only interrogate essential human questions, they learn thinking, writing and speaking skills that they may use in service of social justice. Philosophy students often go on to careers in law, education, medicine, business, science, mathematics, ministry, social work and many other areas. Learn more.