Politics & Polls #63: How to be a Conservative in the Age of Trump

Oct 18, 2017
Woodrow Wilson School

Leading conservative thinker David Frum was one of the earliest and most prominent conservative voices to come out in opposition to President Donald Trump. A CNN contributor and senior editor at The Atlantic, Frum said in a public radio interview that Trump “is shattering the safeguards that protect democracy.” 

In this episode, Julian Zelizer interviews Frum about being a conservative in the age of Trump.

In 2007 and 2008, Frum was a senior policy adviser to the presidential campaign of Rudy Giuliani. From 2001 to 2002, he served as a special assistant and speechwriter for President George W. Bush. He is the author of nine books, including the first “insider” book about the Bush presidency: “The Right Man: An Inside Account of the Bush White House.” After leaving the White House, Frum was a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. In 2005, he formed and led the group Americans for Better Justice, which spearheaded the opposition to the nomination of Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Frum is a member of the board of directors of the Republican Jewish Coalition; the British think tank, Policy Exchange; and vice chairman and an associate fellow of the R Street Institute, an American conservative and libertarian think tank. His most recently published book is “Patriots: A Novel.” Frum’s forthcoming book, “Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic,” will be released early next year.


Zelizer is the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He has been one of the pioneers in the revival of American political history. He is the author of several books including, most recently, "The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society." Zelizer is a frequent commentator in the international and national media on political history and contemporary politics. He has published more than 600 hundred op-eds, including his weekly column on CNN.com.

Wang is professor of neuroscience and molecular biology at Princeton University. He is known for his books "Welcome to Your Brain" and "Welcome to Your Child's Brain" and for his founding role at the Princeton Election Consortium, a blog providing U.S. election analyses. In 2004, Wang was one of the first to aggregate U.S. presidential polls using probabilistic methods. He has also developed new statistical standards for partisan gerrymandering. A neuroscientist, Wang's academic research focuses on the neuroscience of learning, the cerebellum.