Gabriel Schoenfeld

American writer

Gabriel Schoenfeld (born 1955) is an American author, editor, political advisor and commentator, and public intellectual, is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.


  • [A]nyone like-minded is free to leave the United States at any time and emigrate to a more congenial country, be it Poland under Legutko’s Law and Justice party, Orbán’s avowedly illiberal Hungary, or Vladimir Putin’s Russia. In actual fact, however, despite all of the ruins supposedly surrounding us and all of the supposed repression, in the average year out of a population of more than 325 million, fewer than 5,000 Americans renounce their citizenship, typically not to escape the depredations of liberalism but to avoid paying taxes. At the same time, millions of foreigners strive to come to the United States, many of them giving up all their worldly possessions and risking their lives on the journey.
  • There is an unhappy irony in the fact that these defenders of freedom are making their case in the United States at a moment when liberal democracy here at home is facing a multitude of threats.

    The first of these, of course, comes from the current unlikely occupant of the White House, Donald Trump. Among his other flaws, the president exhibits no interest in defending the institutions of liberal democracy. Indeed, if he has any notions about what those two words mean, they have been poured into his head by blood-and-soil nationalists like Stephen Bannon and Stephen Miller or dirty tricksters like his lifelong friend Roger Stone. Given the creatures he has long surrounded himself with, it is unsurprising that Trump routinely tramples on democratic norms here at home and expresses admiration for dictators and strongmen around the world.

    Unfortunately, Trump is as much a symptom as a cause. The Republican party not long ago stood for liberty and constitutionalism. Today, important elements of the GOP have latched on to authoritarian ideas and autocratic powers. The ties of the National Rifle Association to Vladimir Putin’s Russia have been well documented. Major components of the Christian right have found Russia a welcome ally in the culture wars.

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