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Conservative ‘Purism’ Doesn’t Threaten The Movement. Trump Purism Does.

On Tuesday, Dennis Prager – a man I consider a good friend and political mentor – penned a column in which he derided conservative “purists” for killing President Trump’s American Health Care Act. As one of the people in favor of killing that misbegotten piece of legislation, which re-enshrined the central principles of Obamacare while exacerbating the private health insurance death spiral, created a new entitlement program, and was wildly unpopular to boot (17 percent approval rating), I feel compelled to respond to Dennis’ piece in the spirit of respectful debate. I don’t believe it required purity to oppose the bill – only political common sense and a cost-benefit analysis. The Republican Party was unanimous in its dedication to repealing Obamacare; that political promise bought them complete control of the federal government. This bill broke that promise.

But Dennis’ main argument is that conservative purity makes the perfect the enemy of the good. Dennis writes, “what we have here is another conservative example of purism and principle damaging another major opportunity to do good.”

Ben Shapiro
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