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Charles R. Kesler


Charles Kesler is a senior fellow of the Claremont Institute, editor of the Claremont Review of Books and a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College in California. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard, and won the 2018 Bradley Prize, an award given by the ultra-conservative Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in recognition of scholars who work “to restore, strengthen, and protect the principles and institutions of American exceptionalism.” 

Kesler was part of Trump’s 1776 Commission, which issued a report in January 2021 attacking liberal thought and pushing for more “patriotic education” in America that glosses over the role of slavery in the country’s history and ignores the facts behind injustice and ongoing racial tension in the U.S. 

Vox has called the Claremont Institute Trumpism’s “intellectual home.” Kesler contributed to that by publishing Michael Anton’s controversial “Flight 93” essay about the 2016 election, in which the author told readers that they could either seize control (of the cockpit) by voting for Trump or die. The New Republic has pointed to Kesler’s role in not only legitimizing Trump’s authoritarianism, but also in promoting anti-democratic causes through intellectual efforts such as the 2021 National Conservatism conference, which featured far-right speakers Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and billionaire Peter Thiel, a major donor to the GOP, among others.