Bret Stephens: New York Times Op-Ed Columnist

04 MAR 2019 New York

New York Times Op-Ed columnist Bret Stephens discusses his conservative perspective at the paper and why he believes strong democracies are fueled by healthy disagreement.

On the state of conservatism in the US: “The role of a conservative party in a liberal democracy is to encourage the habits of mind and institutions that preserve the foundational liberal order. It's one of the paradoxes of conservatism in any democracy that what conservatives are trying to conserve is a liberal order. And that requires some things of them, not the least of which is insisting that certain kinds of behaviors, institutionally or personally, be respected and become norms.”

On his popular column “The Dying Art of Disagreement”: “I think all healthy democracies are built not by the people who agree, but by the people who disagree. Rosa Parks disagreed. That’s why she’s a hero, right? All of the people we think of now as role models are people who aren’t people who said yes to something. They’re actually people who said no to something. And we have to find a way to create a place for them in our society.”

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