The conservative website The Bulwark takes a shot at the pro-Trump think tank. The subtitle of Laura Fields’s piece says it all: “How the once-distinguished conservative think tank plunged into Trumpism, illiberalism, and lying about the election.” They have even invited Trump lackey Charlie Kirk to join them.
Here is a taste:
Today, the Claremont Institute describes itself as dedicated to the restoration of “the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life.” And the organization’s orientation is fundamentally anti-wonk: “Rather than concentrate on policy like many other think tanks, the Claremont Institute teaches the principles and ideas that shape policy over time.” This is a group with grand, culture-shaping ambitions: “The Claremont Institute provides the missing argument in the battle to win public sentiment by teaching and promoting the philosophical reasoning that is the foundation of limited government and the statesmanship required to bring that reasoning into practice.”
In keeping with these lofty goals, the organization runs a number of programs and fellowships for educating “the best and most promising young writers, lawyers, activists, academics, entrepreneurs, and public servants.” Hundreds of journalists and thinkers have passed through Claremont’s Publius, Lincoln, John Marshall, and speechwriter programs. Some very smart and thoughtful people—like Ross Douthat—have been fellows at the institute; so have Josh Hammer, Mollie Hemingway, Christopher Rufo, and Ben Shapiro.
An indication of where things stand today: In 2019, Claremont welcomed as a Lincoln Fellow the conspiracist and “king of fake news” Jack Michael Posobiec III. Posobiec, already well known as a promoter of the Pizzagate hoax and the Seth Rich conspiracy theory, was then working as a correspondent and host for the One America News Network (OANN), which became one of the major promoters of false claims about the 2020 election. Claremont remains proud of the affiliation with Posobiec, with an institute official recently calling him “one of the best public political voices in America”—just days before it was revealed that a right-wing website Posobiec frequently promoted was a Russian disinformation project.
And among the latest crop of Lincoln Fellows is Charlie Kirk, the founder of the right-wing youth-mobilizing group Turning Point USA. Kirk bragged about sending “80+ buses full of patriots to DC to fight” for Trump on January 6. After his slimy “Falkirk Center,” co-founded with Jerry Falwell Jr., imploded, Kirk was ousted from Liberty University. The Claremont Institute has welcomed him with open arms.
Read the entire piece here.