Trump is tearing down the Western alliance. And conservatives are cheering him on.

We're witnessing a return to conservative atavism

President Trump Angela Merkel Emmanuel Macron
(Image credit: Illustrated | Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images)

American conservatives have abandoned their entire framework of thinking about national security.

Since the end of the Second World War, the foreign policy views of American conservatism have been about defending America's international power, and expanding it where possible. Ronald Reagan, at the top of conservatism's pantheon of heroes, crowed after a NATO conference that "the Western alliance remains a strong and unified guardian of the free world." Meanwhile, among the more consistent conservative criticisms of Barack Obama was that he was a coddler of dictators who was insulting our allies with his disrespectful behavior.

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