Cover art for podcast Open Source with Christopher Lydon

Open Source with Christopher Lydon

51 EpisodesProduced by Christopher LydonWebsite

Christopher Lydon in conversation on arts, ideas and politics


The New Right

The hatching of a New Right Republican party, under fire, is the substance of this radio hour. It was simpler in Gilbert and Sullivan when the song said: every boy and every gal that’s born into the world alive was either a little liberal, or else a little conservative. The difference this year is the multiple relabelings of Republicans on the right, by factions. You can find, say, an educated version of cultural conservatives and even some lifestyle liberals at odds with evangelicals and nationalists; you can find anti-interventionists, too, in a party of neo-conservatives. Every syllable of those labels can mean something—something to fight about, or to start a new magazine around.

Sohrab Ahmari. Matthew Sitman.

Meet the New Right this hour: the anti-liberal and wannabe populist future of the Republican party. Our guest to start the conversation is Sohrab Ahmari, the editor of the combative, young Compact magazine. The left-liberal podcaster Matt Sitman will put him to the test. Sohrab Ahmari is known for his way with radical ideas, and also for his journey, to the age of 37: born a modern Muslim in Tehran, he’s been moving west since his teens, through many varieties of politics and also journalism, mostly on the right, on the opinion pages of Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal and the New York Post. But then he made a very public turn to an articulate Catholicism. And his politics—he calls it conservative—has turned militantly anti-establishment. He could sound like a shape-shifter, or maybe a model of improvisation and growth.

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