MINOT, N.D. — The conservatism of my youth, the sort of conservatism I still believe in and subscribe to today, takes a skeptical view of the power of the state.
This more traditional conservatism stands in stark contrast with what’s called conservatism in the Donald Trump era.
Conservatives once talked about government as something to be limited to certain necessary evils so that life and culture, in all its many facets, could flourish outside it.
Conservatives used to care about fiscal discipline, yet in the last broadcasts of his life no less a right-wing luminary than Rush Limbaugh was defending the profligacy of the Trump presidency. “Nobody is a fiscal conservative anymore,” he told a caller concerned about Trump-era spending in 2019. “All this talk about concern for the deficit and the budget has been bogus for as long as it’s been around.”