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What is Conservatism?


William F. Buckley, Jr., the patron saint of the modern conservative movement, stated in 1955 that his groundbreaking publication, National Review, would “stand athwart history yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so.”  After two world wars, the Great Depression and a government largesse engendered through the New Deal, many began to wonder whether America’s founding principles were still intact.  Was America ready to face the challenges that lay ahead in curbing the ever expanding welfare state, a moral malaise, and the rising threat of global communism that all but threatened to uproot its traditions of limited government, individual liberty, free enterprise, a strong national defense, and the preservation of civil society?

In this first session we’ll be detailing the foundation and roots of American conservatism, progressivism – the antithesis of conservatism, and the different branches that make up the modern conservative movement.  Each branch represents a collection of ideas and solutions that have withstood the test of history and time.  This presentation will detail how what largely started as a marginalized movement of ideas — then became a powerful political force in American politics.

William F. Buckley, Jr.

William F. Buckley, Jr.

The Presenter 

Christopher Malagisi is a noted conservative movement expert, writer and educator.  He is currently an Adjunct Professor at American University teaching History of the Conservative Movement and is President of the Young Conservatives Coalition – a DC-based, young professional conservative leadership, educational, and networking organization.  He also does political project consulting specializing in external relations and outreach, project and event management, and political education.  He most recently was the Director of National CPAC & External Relations at the American Conservative Union and trained over 5,000 candidates and activists as the Director of Political & New Media Training at The Leadership Institute.

He has been published in over a dozen publications and has been a political analyst on Fox News, Fox Business, CNN and CSPAN.  Due to his significant achievements in national politics, he was featured as a “DC Mover & Shaker” in 2011 and received the “Rising Star Award” from Campaigns & Elections magazine.  He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for The Philadelphia Society, is a frequent speaker at conservative conferences and college campuses, and has completed fellowships with the National Review Institute, Foreign Policy Initiative and Claremont Institute.  Fun Facts: Malagisi has sailed around the world, is a movie fanatic, and recorded two original piano albums.  Follow him at @chrismalagisi.

In order to begin this discussion, we need to ask ourselves a question.  What are conservatives, inherently, trying to conserve?

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