Progressive/Conservative Summit: What's Now and What's Next?

Prog Con Summit

Progressive/Conservative Summit 2021

A conservative, a progressive, and a libertarian walk onto a stage. They engage in robust discussion. No, that is not a joke. 2020 brought forth issues long plaguing the nation, from the inequalities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic to the election conspiracies fueled by polarizing social media platforms, if not politicians themselves. As Americans increasingly write off those they disagree with as “the other” on these and other issues, we lose vital opportunities to seek understanding and find areas of actionable common ground. The gap between left and right continues to swell, and fractures within the Democratic and Republican parties have forced Americans to ask: what’s now, and what’s next for these movements?

The Hauenstein Center, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, and the Progressive Women’s Alliance are proud to reconvene for the 2021 Progressive Conservative Summit. Jane Coaston, the host of The Argument podcast, set the stage for good-faith debate on Friday evening. On Saturday, David French, senior editor at The Dispatch, and Matthew Yglesias, co-founder of Vox, examined what’s now and what’s next for conservatives and progressives alike. Panel sessions included discussions on the 2020 Census and Election results, offering thoughts for the shifting coalitions and cultural clashes among America’s left and right. The Summit concluded with a discussion between French, Yglesias, and Coaston. 


Panelists and Speakers

Jane Coaston is the host of “The Argument.” Previously, she was senior politics reporter at Vox with a focus on conservatism and the GOP. Her work has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, NPR, and in National Review, the Washington Post, the Ringer, and ESPN Magazine, among others. In addition, she is a former resident fellow at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics. She attended the University of Michigan, and lives in Washington, D.C. 

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David French

David French is a senior editor at The Dispatch and a columnist for Time. A graduate of Harvard Law School, David is a former senior writer for National Review and a former senior fellow at the National Review Institute. He is a former constitutional litigator and a past president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. David is a New York Times bestselling author, and his most recent book, Divided We Fall: America’s Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation, was released last September. David is a former major in the United States Army Reserve and is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he was awarded the Bronze Star. 

Matthew Yglesias is a pioneering political blogger. Since the Internet Dark Ages of 2002, Matthew Yglesias cofounded the popular news website Vox in 2014 where he currently works as a senior correspondent covering politics and economic policy and hosts “The Weeds” podcast twice weekly. He’s known for bringing a combination of humor and analytic rigor to superficially tedious matters ranging from senate procedure to parking regulations to monetary policy, illuminating the most arcane aspects of politics and economics in an accessible way without ever dumbing things down. 

Matthew Yeglasias


Videos from the Event

Jane Coaston, David French, and Matthew Yglesias Progressive/Conservative Summit Keynote

Jane Coaston: The Importance of Good-Faith Debate

David French: What's Now and What's Next for Conservatism

Matthew Yglesias: What's Now and What's Next for Progressivism

Shifting Coalitions and the Future of the American Electorate

Panel Isms--A Cultural Clash of Left and Right


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