Is Reform Conservatism a Friend or Foe of Limited Government?


Ideas have consequences and a recent idea that is already generating major consequences in the political world is "reform conservatism." Its primary electoral aim is to apply the lesson of Mitt Romney's 2012 "shellacking" to help the GOP once again become the majority party. And as far as it's concerned, that lesson is that the GOP has to stop coming across as the rich guy's party that is in the pay of corporations and out of touch with the great American middle class, which is being itself "shellacked" by the forces of globalization. Reformocons'—as the adherents of this movement like to be called—main political goal is to wrest control of the welfare state from liberals and recast it to advance conservative values and constituencies.

In this Reason Roundtable, moderated by Shikha Dalmia, Yuval Levin, the editor of National Affairs and the father of reform conservatism, puts forward his ideas in a discussion with Ben Domenech of The Federalist, Jason Kuznicki of Cato Unbound, and's Nick Gillespie.