Hillsdale College Con­sti­tution Day Cel­e­bration with speaker Dr. Myron Magnet and a visit by VP Mike Pence at the JW Mar­riott hotel in Wash­ington, D.C. on Sep­tember 17, 2019. | Courtesy Ben Dietderich

The worst part about my trip to Wash­ington, D.C., last week, was learning to drink iced coffee before the paper straw dis­solves. The best part was hearing from the leaders of the only movement capable of pre­serving our republic: the New American Right.

Last week on my radio show, “American View”, I spoke with Mollie Hem­ingway, co-author of the best­selling book, “Justice on Trial – The Kavanaugh Con­fir­mation and the Future of the Supreme Court.” I also spoke with former White House National Security spokesperson Michael Anton. Both have taken posi­tions as researchers and lec­turers at Hillsdale’s D.C. campus.

At the 10th annual Hillsdale College Con­sti­tution Day Cel­e­bration in Wash­ington D.C., I heard the youngest member of the U.S.

Senate, Senator Joshua Hawley, R‑Mo., speak. Hawley reaf­firmed what many in the audience already knew: 21st century America faces a chal­lenge that no living American has ever expe­ri­enced. Our ability to overcome that chal­lenge will determine whether our con­sti­tu­tional republic lives on or con­tinues to fragment beyond unrecognition.

The city I found myself in this last week offered a glimpse of where we are heading if Amer­icans allow the selfish to drive. Putting aside my annoyance with the highly inef­fective paper straws, which are more aggra­vating than one might think, I found myself con­stantly trying to desen­sitize myself to the problems of the modern American city.

As I walked under an overpass on the way to grab my morning coffee, I tried ignoring the stench of urine. I mus­tered to withhold any appearance of empathy I felt towards the homeless couple I saw eating from a can outside their tent, as to not draw their attention. I watched in a store line as the homeless woman in front of me emptied her cup of quarters to pay for a Swisher Sweet cigarillo.

Outside America’s cities, there are plenty of problems. Like most res­i­dents of American small towns, Hillsdale res­i­dents know these problems too well. And unlike many cities, con­ser­v­a­tives cannot simply blame these problems on the poor gov­er­nance of Democrat leaders.

For decades, Repub­licans embraced a policy of “all trade is good trade,” even as small towns watched entire streets of local busi­nesses close and large box stores emerge. For the past 50 years, both Repub­licans and Democrats sup­ported gen­erous trade and immi­gration policies, which have played a role in wage stag­nation and job outsourcing.

These problems have long been dis­missed by a ruling-class as minor and unavoidable con­se­quences that come with the many ben­efits of cap­i­talism. Amer­icans have been taught that buying cheaper stuff at Walmart out­weighs the shut­tering of locally-owned businesses.

Con­ser­v­ative politi­cians rarely dis­cussed the neg­ative aspects of a society believing simply having more material belongings con­sti­tutes human satisfaction.

As the social media age arrived, America’s con­sumption addiction only increased. Amer­icans shame­lessly reap the ben­efits of living in the wealthiest country on earth — and they should. Yet it’s hard to deny the neg­ative effects of screen addiction, online pop­u­larity con­tests, and faceless con­ver­sa­tions leave on America’s younger generation.

America’s suicide rate is the highest it’s been since WWII, the Center for Disease Control and Pre­vention said. More Amer­icans died from drug overdose deaths in 2016, than in the entire Vietnam War.

Com­bined with a loss of decent-paying jobs, affordable healthcare, and the breakdown of American insti­tu­tions such as church and family, this bom­bardment of digital media created what Hawley has described as an “epi­demic of despair and loneliness.”

The election of Donald Trump sig­naled change could be coming to the Repub­lican Party. What was unclear was whether that change would be long-lasting and would ulti­mately be ben­e­ficial for our nation.

Lis­tening to Hem­ingway, Anton, and Hawley this past week con­firmed that a new type of con­ser­vatism has planted seeds beyond the gates of the White House grounds.

Hem­ingway taught how to expose truth, Anton explained prin­cipled realism, and Hawley pro­vided clarity. The New American Right should adopt the ideas of all three if we wish to prevent our nation’s can­cerous problems from spreading.

Hem­ingway exem­plifies the impor­tance of defending truth in a society that has fre­quently come to doubt its exis­tence. As the senior editor for the Fed­er­alist, Hem­ingway makes no attempts to hide her own political views. But when she writes, she writes to inform. Hem­ingway holds trans­parency as the highest standard. She demon­strates through her writing that facts needn’t be omitted or twisted for political gain, because if you seri­ously believe in a cause, the truth will help, not hinder it.

On matters of foreign policy, Anton’s ideas chal­lenge a mil­itary complex and glob­alist class that has for­gotten about the toll endless wars have left on American sol­diers and in our cit­izens’ wallets. Anton sup­ported and artic­u­lated the President’s foreign policy long before most con­ser­v­a­tives did. He defends the notion that Pres­ident Trump can lead without being a hawk or an isolationist.

To believe in putting America first, Anton believes, is the return to a state of affairs where America demon­strates to the world what it means to actually allow people’s voices be heard – rather than a ruling class bound by a glob­alist ideology.

Hawley managed to artic­ulate the con­cerns and prin­ciples of the New American Right better than any of his elected col­leagues. Speaking at the Con­sti­tution Day last week, he described his admi­ration for the Con­sti­tution, but also cau­tioned that the depth of America’s current problems stretches far too deep for any number of con­ser­v­ative judges or politi­cians to fill alone.

“As important as getting good judges is, it is not enough to defend our Con­sti­tution, not now,” Hawley told the room. “The greatest chal­lenge of our time cannot be resolved by courts because what is at issue in our time is the char­acter of our republic and our ability to con­tinue our self-governance.”

Hawley, similar to Trump, sees a divide that doesn’t sep­arate along tra­di­tional par­tisan lines but instead between a ruling class and the rest of America.

“The great American middle is being pushed aside by a new arrogant aris­tocracy,” Hawley said. “These new aris­to­crats seek to remake our society in their own image. To engineer an economy that will work for them and few else. To fashion a culture that is dom­i­nated by their pref­er­ences. When they think of helping their fellow cit­izens, they think of making everybody else more like themselves.”

Who are these aris­to­crats? Hawley listed just a few: “Big banks, big tech, big multi­na­tional cor­po­ra­tions, along with their allies in Hol­lywood, the media, these are the Aris­to­crats of our age. ” All of them share a common vice – they have aban­doned what it means to be an American citizen and how to respect their fellow people.

Rather than find value in the prin­ciples and nec­essary insti­tu­tions of self-gov­ernment, they have sought their destruction. In replacement, they wish to impose rights around things that must be coerced out of others.

Justice has been rede­fined as any­thing they deem healthy for their soci­eties. Radical policies with regard to healthcare, immi­gration, and climate change are just a few of the so-called solu­tions pro­posed to fix the cit­izens and parts of soci­eties they see as ill-edu­cated. Many of the cor­po­ra­tions they work for support their agendas in the hopes of ben­e­fiting from their reg­u­lation-making friends. And of course, those who oppose them are con­sidered deplorable.

“The political estab­lishment on both sides look the other way, rehearsing and rehashing the political debates of thirty and forty years ago,” Hawley said. “I just want to say to you, there is no time for that any longer.”

Hawley is right. For the past three decades, con­ser­v­a­tives have been busy praying for another Ronald Reagan. Mean­while, the bat­tle­field has trans­formed. America’s greatest threat is now internal.

For­tu­nately, out­spoken leaders of the New American Right provide Amer­icans with a path upward.

Trump told the world on Tuesday, “The future does not belong to glob­alists. The future belongs to patriots.”

Ben Diet­derich is a senior studying political economy.