As American media and politics have descended increasingly into partisan tribalism, there remain a number of writers, academics, politicians, and thinkers who remain focused on protecting democratic ideals and functions as well as developing the policy ideas of the future. Such voices are disparate, sprinkled across think tanks, academia, advocacy organizations, and media outlets. The Bulwark offers a point of convergence and amplification for these voices.
The Bulwark is a project of the Defending Democracy Together Institute. DDTI is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to preserving America’s democratic norms, values, and institutions, and educating the public on conservative principles like rule of law, free trade, and expanding legal immigration.
Benjamin Parker is the associate director of the Defending Democracy Together Institute. He has worked on local, statewide, and national political campaigns since 2012, as well as in the House of Representatives. His writing has been published in The Weekly Standard, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Examiner, and The Hill. He received his B.A. in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and Russian and East European Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.
Bill Kristol is the editor at large and founder of The Weekly Standard, and a regular guest on leading political commentary shows. Prior to his work at The Weekly Standard, Kristol led the Project for the Republican Future, an organization that helped shape the strategy that produced the 1994 Republican congressional victory. From 1985 to 1993, Kristol served as chief of staff to Education Secretary William Bennett in the Reagan Administration and as chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle in the George H. W. Bush administration. Before coming to Washington, Kristol taught politics at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University.
Charlie Sykes is a contributing editor at The Weekly Standard, the host of the magazine’s Daily Standard podcast, and an NBC/ MSNBC contributor. He is also author of nine books, including his most recent book, How the Right Lost Its Mind. Sykes has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Politico, The Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Time.com, Salon, USA Today, National Review, The New York Review of Books, the New York Daily News, The Weekly Standard, and other national publications. He has appeared on Meet the Press, This Week with George Stephanopoulos, State of the Union with Jake tapper, the Today Show, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, PBS, the BBC, and has been profiled on NPR. He lives in Mequon, Wisconsin with his wife and three dogs. He has three children, and two grandchildren.
Linda Chavez is one the of chairman for the Center for Equal Opportunity, a syndicated columnist, has written for The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New Republic, Commentary, and Reader’s Digest, and has served on two Fortune 500 company boards. She authored Out of the Barrio: Toward a New Politics of Hispanic Assimilation, discussing the timeline of Hispanic progress regarding bilingual education, voting rights, immigration, and affirmative action. Chavez served in the Reagan administration as the Director of the Office of Public Liaison, making her the highest-ranking woman in President Reagan’s White House. In 2000, the Library of Congress named Chavez a Living Legend.
Mona Charen is a Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center, columnist, and the author of two New York Times bestsellers: Useful Idiots and Do-Gooders. Her new book, Sex Matters, was released in June. Charen began her career writing for National Review magazine, and she served as a speechwriter for Nancy Reagan before joining President Reagan’s staff in the White House Office of Public Liaison and in the Office of Communications. Her work has been featured in over 200 newspapers and websites, and she is a regular guest on public affairs programs.
Mickey Edwards was a member of Congress for 16 years, serving on both the Appropriations and Budget committees and as the chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee. He directed the joint House-Senate policy task forces for Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign, was a founding trustee of the Heritage Foundation and national chairman of the American Conservative Union. After leaving Congress he taught at Harvard for eleven years and then at Princeton before becoming a Vice President of the Aspen Institute. He is the author of several books, has had articles in a number of national publications, was a weekly political columnist for the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, had a weekly political commentary on NPR’s “All Things Considered”, and has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. More importantly, he likes classical music, jazz, poetry, and baseball.
Kayla Gowdy is the communications director for the Defending Democracy Together Institute, helping shape DDTI’s message and outreach. Kayla has previously worked in a variety of political fields, including a think tank, for a Republican Congressman, and on multiple Republican campaigns. She graduated from Ashland University, receiving her Bachelor of Arts in political science and economics.