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What Do the National Conservatives Want?

J. D. Vance speaks at the 2021 Southwest Regional Conference hosted by Turning Point USA in Phoenix, Ariz., April 17, 2021. (Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons)

Their latest conference hit at problems with the conservative mainstream. But important questions remain about their solution.

Orlando, Fla. — As J. D. Vance takes the stage to give the final keynote address at National Conservatism II, news of Glenn Youngkin’s upset victory in the Virginia gubernatorial race begins to ripple through the crowd. The revelation quickly spreads in the Signal and Twitter group chats used by the conference’s youngest digital natives; soon after, it’s passed along via whisper to attendees of all ages. When Vance — still unaware the race has been called — mentions the possibility of a Youngkin win in an offhand remark, the furtive excitement that had been building across the Hilton Orlando