In January, Curt Mills took over as executive director of The American Conservative. This is the first print issue commissioned and edited entirely under his leadership. There is no better way to launch his tenure than with a blockbuster cover article written by the boss himself, “How Ohio Became the Center of the Republican Universe.”

If you think of Ohio politicians, the first name that comes to mind is probably J.D. Vance. He’s certainly the most exciting figure on the right today, but he’s not the only one from that part of the country. Ohio is also home to names like Vivek Ramaswamy, Jim Jordan, and Warren Davidson, as well as newly minted Senate nominee Bernie Moreno.

The surprising thing about all this new energy is that, not long ago, Ohio was dominated by establishment figures. Rob Portman and John Kasich were the face of the Ohio GOP. Needless to say they did nothing to give voice to the concerns of their Rust Belt constituents on issues like trade.

So the emergence of so many fresh-thinking populists in Ohio is a puzzle. The cover essay offers an answer—and serves as an introduction to the brilliant writer now helming this organization.

Staff reporter Bradley Devlin visited Kentucky, just across the river, for his reported feature in this issue, but he didn’t meet any politicians. Just hillbillies. Bradley has been doing mission trips to Appalachia for a decade. The first time, he went as a high-school student. This time he returned as a chaperone.

Appalachia has seen some changes in the last ten years. The drugs are cut with fentanyl now. On the plus side, a national politician finally gave voice to their suffering and tried to do something about it. Leslie County is Trump country. What do they think of him these days? Bradley found out that and much more.

South Korea is a fascinating country. Its right-wing party, in particular, always seems to echo Western trends in the most unlikely ways, as in the 2022 race that Western pundits dubbed the “incel election” for candidate Yoon Suk Yeol’s excoriations of feminism. 

During its Asian Tiger era, the South Korean right rehabilitated the reputation of Park Chung-hee, the assassinated dictator whom many remember fondly for the economic development he promoted, from which modern Koreans hoped to draw inspiration.

Now there are stirrings of a similar rehabilitation of South Korea’s founding president, Syngman Rhee, also a dictator with some positive qualities. What is it about Rhee that matches the current moment, the way Park Chung-hee matched the 1990s? Rob York, an expert on Rhee, explains. We hope the documentary he discusses, which has apparently created a stir in South Korea, will be made available to American audiences.

Originally found on American Conservative. Read More

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