Americans are Being Held Hostage and Terrorized by the Fringes: An exit interview with the American Enterprise Institute’s Arthur Brooks

Tim Alberta in Politico:

Arthur Brooks is president of the American Enterprise Institute, the center-right Washington think tank that has, amid a decade of turmoil inside the Republican Party, remained a sober, respected voice on matters of policy—while gradually shedding its George W. Bush-era reputation as a leading voice for pugnacious, interventionist foreign policy.

Brooks, who is stepping down in June 2019 after 10 years at the helm of AEI, has consistently struck me as the smartest figure on the American right—someone not given to bouts of provocation or hyperbole, but rather someone who speaks with equal authority on macroeconomics and family budgeting, global starvation and American giving, corporate structure and worker behavior, cultural evolution and societal happiness.

Brooks also conjures comparisons to “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” the character in the Dos Equis beer commercials. He performed as a professional French hornist before entering the world of academia. He converted to Roman Catholicism when he was 16 after a quasi-supernatural experience at the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico. He met his future wife, who spoke no English, while touring in France—and immediately moved to Barcelona to learn Spanish and begin his courtship. He befriended the Dalai Lama during a trip to India some years ago, leading to repeated visits with one another and a joint New York Times op-ed.

More here.