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HORSESHOE THEORY

Vance, Paul, Ramaswamy to address Quincy Institute, American Conservative conference

The lineup of speakers highlights the isolationist-minded faction of the Republican party

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH)

Key Republican officials advocating to limit American engagement in international affairs — including Sens. J.D. Vance (R-OH) and Rand Paul (R-KY), former presidential candidate and potential vice presidential contender Vivek Ramaswamy, and Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) — are set to address a conference co-organized by Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and The American Conservative later this month.

The conference on Capitol Hill, and the GOP figures’ planned appearances, are a further reflection of “horseshoe” trends in foreign policy that have united the far right and far left in support of a more isolationist U.S. posture.

The Quincy Institute, aligned with the left, and The American Conservative, aligned with the right, have both pushed for a decreased U.S. role in the world from their respective political homes. 

Memorably, the Quincy Institute was a major backer of a widely condemned 2022 Congressional Progressive Caucus letter urging direct talks with Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, while The American Conservative hosted a foreign policy conference on the Hill last year where Paul, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and other speakers railed against U.S. aid to Ukraine.

Davidson was one of just 21 Republicans who voted against U.S. aid to Israel as part of the national security aid package approved last month. Ramwaswamy opposes U.S. aid to Israel. Vance and Paul both voted against the combined supplemental package in the Senate.

According to an announcement circulated by the Quincy Institute, the conference aims to focus on “what does a foreign policy for the Middle Class look like?” 

The promotion declares that “Americans have tired of sending their money and their family members to fund and fight foreign conflicts not vital to their own safety and security” and questions why U.S. manufacturing jobs have moved overseas and “why government officials and media titans are so slow to address their concerns and so quick to label them ‘isolationists’ for asking.”

The Quincy Institute was founded in 2019 and funded by George Soros and Charles Koch. It calls for an end to American military intervention and a refocus on diplomatic strategy. In 2020, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) accused the group of helping drive an increase in antisemitism across the country.

Other announced speakers include The American Conservative senior editor Helen Andrews, the Quincy Institute’s George Beebe, conservative journalist Saagar Enjeti and Branko Marcetic, reporter for the far-left Jacobin magazine, who wrote a book making “the case against Joe Biden.”

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