What is your current position?
I’m currently a Staff Editor at The Federalist. For those unfamiliar, The Federalist is a conservative publication that provides honest coverage of political and cultural events and features editorials from people across the country.
What inspired you to choose this career path?
I always wanted to pursue a career as a writer that enabled me to blend my love of culture and politics. Working at The Federalist enables me to pursue both simultaneously while further exploring the influence they have on each other.
There isn’t another publication currently in operation that seamlessly and tirelessly provides news coverage and commentary while elevating the voices and concerns of everyday Americans.
Working at The Federalist provides me with frequent opportunities to challenge myself and explore the intellectual foundations of the American experiment.
What are you currently working on?
I’ve got a lot of stuff in the works, but perhaps most notably, I am working on an article series about artificial intelligence in which I hope to identify the practical applications and risks of integrating our culture and institutions with this technology. I’m also working on some investigative reporting in which I hope to learn how the intelligence apparatus utilizes AI to process data and interpret digital speech patterns.
I also recently launched host a podcast with two of my Publius Fellowship classmates called Heavyweights. You can find it on all major platforms!
How did you hear about the Claremont Institute?
I started reading The American Mind during the first couple of years of the Trump administration, but I learned about Claremont’s fellowship programs through some of my peers who were previous participants.
They encouraged me to apply, and I’m incredibly grateful they did.
What is your fondest memory of the Claremont Institute?
It’s hard to pin down one particular instance, but my favorite memories are of all the nights my Publius classmates and I stayed up entirely too late playing cards and discussing everything and anything from what we had just learned in class to theological debates to how to whether or not pineapple actually belongs on pizza (it does).
There are all sorts of educational programs out there for current and rising conservative professionals. What do you think makes the Claremont Institute’s Fellowships unique?
Everyone involved at Claremont — leadership, faculty, and even the interns — take an active interest in the people who enter their orbit. They personally want you to succeed and go out of their way to help you. It makes you feel like you truly are part of something larger than yourself.
Claremont also possesses a unique intellectual rigor and zero naivety about our current political and cultural situation. The realism is refreshing.
Who would it be, why, and what would you discuss, if you could have a conversation with an American Founder, or any great thinker?
John Adams. I’d like to hear his perspective on the country’s cultural and political degradation. Perhaps he could provide some guidance on how to reestablish a moral order as we navigate our way through the proverbial wilderness. Considering his intense political rivalries, I’m also very curious about what he would think about the current partisan divide and whether or not it’s possible to reconcile red and blue America.
What would the artifact be, if you could hold one piece of history from the early founding of our country and why?
One of the most important, yet least appreciated, periods of our history is westward expansion. It would be incredibly fascinating to see the early maps of the Louisiana Purchase drawn up by Captain Lewis and Lieutenant Clark. Maps are also just cool.
What qualities do you believe are necessary for effective political leadership?
Resilience and integrity are the most important qualities for effective political leadership. Individuals seeking to serve must be fearless and righteous in the pursuit of Truth and the common good.
And effective leadership requires both. A man who lacks integrity but is resilient will lead us astray, and a man who has integrity but is weak-willed will cave to the mob.
What do you believe is the greatest challenge facing the United States?
Frankly, our greatest threat is ourselves. We lack cultural and political coherence and a shared vocabulary that would allow us to navigate the issue. Half the country loathes our heritage while the other half clings to it. At the same time, the former half is actively weaponizing itself and its resources against the latter.
A republic cannot flourish, let alone survive, under these conditions.
Do you believe we are slowly becoming a country of political will or still a nation of law and order?
I think we’re ruled by both. It just so happens that the leftists who have the most political will are redefining and bastardizing things like law and order in ways that consolidate their grip on power. That’s one of the reasons they’re trying to subvert the Supreme Court.
Through your writing you are dedicated to uplifting men and women too often overlooked in mass media and popular culture by telling their stories. Is there one story you might share?
This past June, I wrote a piece titled “Elitists Hate Trump Because He Gives The Wrong People Hope.” In it, I highlighted a video that went viral online featuring a couple from rural America who happily danced around a cardboard cutout of former President Trump. On social media, these people were ruthlessly mocked and maligned.
I believe this is one of the many reasons Trump remains so popular among the Republican Party’s base. He was the first political figure in decades to stand up to the elitists who sold us out and to remind everyday people that this is their country. The elites hate the average American, while Trump gives them a reason to hope for their and their country’s future.
What regimen do you follow when your writing requires a great deal of research, thought, and adherence to truth?
The overwhelming majority of the time I spend “writing” is actually spent conducting research. Whether I’m combing through grants, filing FOIAs, reaching out to sources, or reading what other people have said about the topic about which I am writing, that takes up the majority of my time. After all, you have to know what you’re talking about when you start to talk about it.
Researching and then outlining also enables me to further develop my thoughts on the subject matter and to find the truth.
Once I’ve sufficiently sorted that out, I can put pen to paper.
Do you think artificial intelligence will become a help or a hindrance to the profession of journalism? Why?
Eh, sort of. When it comes to things like newswires and, to a lesser extent, aggregation jobs, I think article intelligence poses a threat.
But a considerable amount of media-related jobs are the result of giving talented and ideologically aligned people a foot in the door. This system of patronage is good and helps cultivate our talent pool, as such it has a pretty high return on investment because these people go on to accomplish important things in the pursuit of our shared goals. So, I don’t see jobs like these disappearing.
Artificial intelligence, at least for now, cannot replicate the unique voices and perspectives that established journalists and commentators have established. It can mimic them, but for the time being, it cannot synthesize similar perspectives out of the data it consumes. At the time of writing, AI’s greatest utility for media companies is the ability to rapidly report raw information.
Words have consequences. What do you believe is the key to combating progressive indoctrination?
We must expose it and use state power to prevent it. The work that Claremont alums Chris Rufo and Armen Tooloee do in exposing and pushing back against the poison leftists pump into the vulnerable is invaluable.
You recently posted an analysis of the movie, Sound of Freedom. What is your response to someone who says, “I’m not going to see the movie. It’s just another attempt at right-wing propaganda.”
I’d tell them they’re a deeply unserious person who would rather immerse themselves in the comfort of convenient lies than acknowledge the true nature of reality.
What books are you currently reading?
At the time of writing, I am reading Chris Rufo’s recently released America's Cultural Revolution: How the Radical Left Conquered Everything, and plan to review it for work.
I’m currently working my way through Mark Twain’s Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, Graham Allison’s Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?, and rereading Edmund Burke’s A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful.
Do you have a favorite quote? Why does it resonate with you?
In 1960, John Wayne directed and starred in a retelling of the Alamo, aptly titled The Alamo. In it, Wayne, as Davy Crockett, makes a passionate and heartfelt speech about why he chose to fight — to establish a properly ordered system of government where man can flourish.
“Republic. I like the sound of the word. It means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose. Some words give you a feeling. Republic is one of those words that makes me tight in the throat – the same tightness a man gets when his baby takes his first step or his first baby shaves and makes his first sound as a man. Some words can give you a feeling that makes your heart warm. Republic is one of those words.”
Often when I’m feeling pessimistic about the state of our country, I will rewatch this clip online, and it reminds me why we must continue to fight.
What is the most distinctive attribute/character of the people in the state where you grew up that you genuinely admire?
Resilience. I’m from Southwest Ohio, and my family has been involved in manufacturing for years. People I grew up with have fallen victim to the opioid epidemic, and families I know well have fought through intense hardship as our region still struggles to recover from the economic adventurism that culturally and economically strip-mined us of identity and opportunity.
The people from my hometown refuse to give up. Amid the sneering and jeering of a national government that would rather ignore their suffering, the people of the Rustbelt continue to carry on.
What is your favorite way to relax after a stressful day?
I have a horrible work-life balance, so I’m still trying to figure this one out. I do, however, really love movies. Whether I’m going to the theater or rewatching something on my TV at home, I find comfort and enjoyment in this uniquely American approach to storytelling.
Fast forward. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
In 1918, President Calvin Coolidge gave a speech commemorating the Battle of Bunker Hill. Our company motto — “Be lovers of freedom and anxious for the fray” — comes from there. I intend to continue on in this field and to fight for what I believe in regardless of what is to come. We must continue to love our freedom and fight to preserve the Good, the True, and the Beautiful.
Having a wife and kids would also be neat.