My co-founding colleague recently observed that Time Magazine had a shoe-in for its annual, and increasingly irrelevant, person of the year award. In the midst of a global pandemic, or so they tell us, the American healthcare worker seemed like an obvious selection. There is precedence; just a few years ago the Ebola workers in West African nations were chosen as the “Person of the Year” for 2014. Maybe I’m not savvy enough, but it strikes me as bafflingly odd that a localized faction of Ebola-treating healthcare workers are more deserving than the millions of Americans going to work everyday to care and comfort those afflicted with COVID. Especially when you consider that Time is an American magazine.
My incredulity notwithstanding, the Time cover inspired me to want to include every Trump voter as its top conservative voice. The 74 million Americans who cast a legitimate ballot for the incumbent spoke loudly for liberty, freedom, and self-governance. Consider them thusly chosen and recognized. You’re all patriots.
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Now, in reviewing the remainder of my list, which was generated only with thought to contributions to conservatism and not much else, I realized that I had eventually produced a diverse cadre of women, blacks, a Hispanic, a Jew, some old folks, some young folks, and some in middle age. They’re from New York, California, Texas, and around the country. It’s a testament to the ideal of conservatism. Hell, there could even be a non-binary pan-gender writer; so long as zhe holds conservative values I would have welcomed them to the team. However, any leftist reader will immediately ascribe sexism or racism or xenophobia due to the fact that two white men ranked highest on the list. Am I an Islamophobic for leaving off a Muslim altogether? You can’t win.
On with the list.
10. Heather MacDonald
Ms. MacDonald makes the cut because she is a prominent, and indeed leading, voice for rationality vis-a-vis police shootings. Her still-very-relevant 2016 book, The War on Cops, contributions to PragerU, and regular publications at the City Journal all shine a light on the massive fraud perpetrated and perpetuated by the media and Democrat politicians. Her sanity during the trying times of the George Floyd riots, bolstered by inarguable (thus avoided) facts relating to police shootings of black victims, afforded conservatives the country over an opportunity to cite objective realities. I wrote several columns in June and July about Black Lives Matter, all of which were strengthened by being able to reference data, statistics, and evidence that she often laid out.
9. Larry Elder
Mr. Elder is the king of statistical citation. The man recalls more relevant facts than the average person could find after spending five whole minutes searching Google. Like Ms. MacDonald, Mr. Elder continues to provide healthy doses of reason and perspective to conflated and deadly lies. He is worth following on Twitter for his witticisms and produces serious content on YouTube through the Epoch Times that leans on his natural humor and common sense. He calls on nonsense when he sees it and speaks forcefully.
8. Ted Cruz
Senator Cruz, simply put, is a brilliant legal and political mind. More importantly, he’s an upstanding human being. He values God, family, country, and truth. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Mr. Cruz has been on the front lines of combating Big Tech and their rampant and abusive treatment of major conservative thinkers and doers. His position on key committees allows him to go after worthless Google, Facebook, and Twitter executives and founders. Despite the limited public success that we’ve seen, his efforts have won him a spot on this list.
7. Dennis Prager
Neither his wisdom nor his understanding of human nature are surpassed, as far as I can tell. I admire his ability to distill even the biggest ideas to a single grain of truth. Not only that, he references the Bible from a rational standpoint, and continuously makes the Good Book relevant today, by moving past antiquated notions or stories to reveal the meaning behind the parable.
Not only does Mr. Prager offer up daily doses of a rational discourse and dissection of the day’s headlines, as well as provide hours dedicated to big issues, he is the eponymous founder of PragerU, one of the single greatest efforts to promote truth in consumable and no-nonsense videos. The only thing that will slow down or derail the Prager Train is if Big Tech and their Democrat allies censor the internet more than they already do.
6. Victor Davis Hanson
Mr. Davis Hanson (Mr. Davis? Mr. Hanson?) is one of the deepest thinkers around. One of the most refreshing aspects of him is that he isn’t necessarily a political commentator per se. His background on military history, though, gives him a unique lens and more importantly trained his approach to analysis. He doesn’t strike me as partisan; he’s simply a truth teller. If it works out for our side, so much better. Correction: He speaks truth so by default he’s on our side. The man is simply brilliant.
5. Thomas Sowell
Mr. Sowell should appear on every list, every year. The man is a trove of wisdom, life experience, analytics, common sense, and like Dennis Prager, distills the most complex issues and clarifies in the most relatable and understandable way possible. Even college graduates can understand it!
I find it amazing that Mr. Sowell grew up during Jim Crow, legalized segregation, and simply put, a very racist America. He was in the Deep South and Harlem. Neither seems pleasant in retrospect. As a young man, he was inclined to buy into the Marxist belief (as young people do) but slowly grew out of it as he experienced life and reality. His evolution of politics eventually led him not to conservatism, per se, but away from socialist thinking. He is labeled a conservative, but that label belies his independent and honest thinking. He is a rational truth teller; let the chips fall where they may. As it stands, though, socialism and leftism are always wrong about human nature, which Mr. Sowell continues to point out in excellent long-form books and insightful quotes pulled from them and interviews.
One of the great failures of the 20th century is the limitation of Mr. Sowell to conservative circles. In an honest world, he would be featured in every corner of political and cultural discourse and be renowned as a ceiling-breaking black man in America.
4. Candace Owens
Ms. Owens shares a remarkably similar journey as Thomas Sowell. While young, she aligned with the lie of the Democrat Party and socialist values. When that’s all you’ve heard – and the line is that blacks must support the left – who would expect otherwise? She is a strong voice for all conservatives, a much-needed presence for young people who only hear from one side, and is especially important as a representative of multiple demographics (black and youth) that too often refuse to think for themselves.
Just for the record, our side has critical thinkers and wholly decent women like Candace Owens and the entire bumper crop from the “Year of the Women” that are entering Congress en masse. Their side has inexcusably stupid and morally bereft losers like AOC, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley Just saying.
3. Ben Shapiro
It’s interesting to listen to people disagree with Ben Shapiro. He is about as non-threatening as people come, but because he holds strong (and correct) viewpoints on issues near and dear to leftist anarchy, he is labeled a hater and awful human being. His early catchphrase “facts don’t care about your feelings” captures the unbridgeable gulf between conservatives and everyone else. Basically, we rely on facts, and they rely solely on feelings. It is hard to come to an understanding when their side has given up on reality.
Like Dennis Prager, Mr. Shapiro has started a wildly successful alternative media outlet. You might’ve heard of the Daily Wire? What is really crazy is that this venture began in just 2015. So, in five years, he has grown a nascent enterprise to one of the most visited conservative sites in the United States.
It’s no surprise, though. Aside from Shapiro himself hosting a podcast, the Daily Wire has enlisted top notch thinkers like Matt Walsh, Michael Knowles, Andrew Klavan, and most recently Candace Owens. Each has a unique flavor and perspective, but it all boils down to the same values of truth and logic.
Shapiro almost earned an honorary #1 spot simply for having read the entirety of White Fragility, taking each major claim it makes and thoroughly debunking it.
2. Tucker Carlson
Mr. Carlson’s placement might actually be controversial. He took some flak over the Sydney Powell nonsense, but I think that anger is coming more from personal frustrations within all conservatives than necessarily directed outwardly toward him. I admit, I perceived the whole Kraken exercise as a stretch from the beginning. It’s not as bad as Representative Schiff saying that they would release indisputable evidence of Russian Collusion every day for two years, but why are conservatives playing the same game? Either you have evidence or you don’t. Basically, I have been around long enough to know that if something is being constantly promised in politics, it isn’t coming.
Ignoring numbers, which Mr. Carlson rakes in on his nightly show, and ignoring that he works for Fox News, which is now a decidedly moribund conservative network, he has landed squarely at the number two spot because of his fact-based, unwavering monologues five nights a week. There is more truth that comes out in any given show opening than the New York Times has printed in the last ten years.
1. Donald Trump
If this pick wasn’t obvious or is being contested, you might need to rethink your awareness of reality. It shouldn’t need to be restated, but Trump rebuilt the Republican Party, and moe broadly, conservatism. Most significantly, I believe he was uniquely positioned to pull this off. Put differently, of the 350 million Americans, I don’t think a single other person could have done the job that our 45th president did. Trump withstood unfair, immoral, and incessant character assassinations while also fending off illegal and unethical political investigations. In the five years he’s been under the gun, he hasn’t once deferred to the Romney, McCain, or Bush levels of ok-let’s-just-get-along Republicanism.
I wrote it before, and it’s the reason our fearless leader is the top entry on this list: Win or lose, Trump saved America.