Ramesh Ponnuru (/rəˈmɛʃ pəˈnʊər/; born August 16, 1974) is an American conservative thinker, political pundit, and journalist. He is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute since 2012.[1] He is the editor of National Review magazine, a contributing columnist for The Washington Post,[2] and a contributing editor to the domestic policy journal National Affairs.[3]

Ramesh Ponnuru
Ponnuru in 2016
Born (1974-08-16) August 16, 1974 (age 49)
EducationPrinceton University (BA)
Occupation(s)Columnist, editor
Notable creditThe Party of Death (2006)
Political partyRepublican
SpouseApril Ponnuru

Ponnuru has written on a wide array of political and policy topics, appeared on numerous public affairs and news interview programs, reflecting his widely respected voice on conservative policy.[4] In 2015, Politico Magazine listed both him and his wife, April Ponnuru, as two of the top "Politico 50" influential leaders in American politics. This was the first and only time that a husband and wife appeared on the list at the same time.[4]

Early life and education edit

Ponnuru was raised in Prairie Village, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri, where he attended Briarwood Elementary School and Mission Valley Middle School. After graduating from Shawnee Mission East High School, at the age of 16, he attended Princeton University, where he earned a B.A. in history and graduated summa cum laude in 1995. He completed a 107-page long senior thesis, titled "Abortion in Nineteenth-Century America, in Brief", under the supervision of Robert P. George.[5] Raised by a Hindu father and a Lutheran mother,[6] Ponnuru is of Indian descent. Later in life, Ponnuru, once an agnostic, converted to Catholicism.[7] He is married to April Ponnuru.[8]

Career edit

Journalism edit

Since 1999, Ponnuru has been either a senior fellow or senior editor, or both at the same time, at National Review, where he has frequently written and commented on such diverse topics as politics, public policy, economics, the law, and even his religious faith.[9] In its pages, he has become widely recognized for calling for a revival of Republican policy thinking by applying conservative ideals to contemporary problems and emphasizing the concerns of the middle class.[attribution needed]

Ponnuru has long been one of the nation's leading conservative voices in making the case for increasing the child tax credit to properly compensate parents for the cost of raising children, and won praise for finding common ground with progressives and Democrats on the issue.[1][10] He has also been a regular co-author and leading voice with economist David Beckworth on the topic of monetary policy and market monetarism.[11][12]

Ponnuru has frequently appeared on a diverse array of television programs about public affairs, among them Meet the Press,[13] Face the Nation, C-Span, the PBS NewsHour, National Public Radio's All Things Considered, ABC News' This Week with George Stephanopoulos, ABC News. The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report.[14]

He has also been a regular guest speaker on policy, politics, and constitutionalism at several of the nation's leading college campuses,[15][16] In 2013, he was a fellow at the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics. The Institute's website has described "the Fellows" as "a dynamic and distinguished group of political practitioners and journalists who will lead seminars and interact with UChicago students and faculty."[17]

In 2006, Ponnuru wrote The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life.[18] The volume is Ponnuru's unique and argumentive exposition on such right-to-life issues as abortion and euthanasia, concentrating on the circumstances of the United States Democratic Party's shift from anti-abortion to abortion rights. Peggy Noonan celebrated the book as "the most significant statement of the need to protect human life in America since Ronald Reagan's Abortion and the Conscience of a Nation".[citation needed]

National Review Online Editor at Large Jonah Goldberg, wrote of the book: "Ponnuru scrupulously sticks to nonreligious arguments, accessible to everyone. But that hasn't stopped critics from charging that his motives are unacceptably 'religious,' while others have complained Ponnuru is too coldly rational. Again it seems Ponnuru's real sin isn't how he says things, but that he says them at all."[19]

John Derbyshire wrote in The New English Review: "RTL is made as presentable as possible in Party of Death, with writing that is engaging and lucid.... (Right to Lifers) are welcoming Party of Death very joyfully, though, and they are right to do so, as it is an exceptionally fine piece of polemical writing in support of their... cause.... Party of Death is obviously inspired by religious belief. The philosophical passages strictly follow the Golden Rule of religious apologetics, which is: The conclusion is known in advance, and the task of the intellectual is to erect supporting arguments."[20]

In a sharp, but measured response to accusations that Ponnuru had an overtly religious viewpoint in approaching the abortion issue, he forcefully addressed the issue himself head-on: "I have made a show of reasoning, but my conclusions have all rather conveniently lined up with the teachings of my church... For the record, my views on abortion have not changed since I was an agnostic... It is true that I am a Catholic. It is also true that I believe that my church's teaching on abortion is reasonable, sound, and correct. It is because I came to believe that Catholicism is true, after all, that I became a Catholic. If I didn't believe Catholic teachings were true, I wouldn't be a Catholic."[21]

Ponnuru has also been the author of a highly influential monograph on Japanese industrial policy, published jointly by the American Enterprise Institute and Center for Policy Studies.[22]

Ponnuru is a past contributor to Time and WashingtonPost.com. He has also written for other such national publications as The New York Times,[23][24][25][26][27] The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal,[28] Financial Times, Newsday, New York Post, The Weekly Standard, Policy Review, The New Republic, and First Things, an ecumenical and conservative religious journal.[29][30]

Policy edit

Ponnuru has long been a much sought after speaker on conservative domestic policy and their political implications; he has regularly been a featured guest at retreats for congressional Republicans, including the party's leadership.[31]

Ponnuru has often been identified as a leader of the "reform conservative" movement,[32] and was prominently featured in a 2014 New York Times Magazine cover story as one of the foremost conservative intellectuals who comprise it. The Times' Sam Tanenhaus described Ponnuru as one of a small group of young conservative Republicans, who, each one, "was an intellectual prodigy in his 30s" who together had "become the leaders of a small band of reform conservatives, sometimes called reformicons, who believe the health of the G.O.P. hinges on jettisoning its age-old doctrine — orgiastic tax-cutting, the slashing of government programs, the championing of Wall Street — and using an altogether different vocabulary, backed by specific proposals, that will reconnect the party to middle-class and low-income voters."[33]

In 2014, Ponnuru co-edited, with Yuval Levin, Room to Grow: Conservative Reforms for a Limited Government and a Thriving Middle Class,[34] described as a reform conservative manifesto and policy agenda. (Ponnuru also contributed the book's concluding chapter, on constitutionalism.[35]) The book was widely praised; New York Times columnist David Brooks described it as a "policy-laden manifesto... which is the most coherent and compelling policy agenda the American right has produced this century."[36]

Ponnuru's collaboration with Levin also won widespread praise for both men because of Levin's own high standing in the conservative movement and the prescient observations of both: Levin has been called "probably the most influential conservative intellectual of the Obama era" by Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine,[37] while the left-leaning The New Republic has described Levin as "the conservative movement's great intellectual hope" and has said that "despite his youth, Levin had been anointed the next great neoconservative."[38]

Books edit

  • Ponnuru, Ramesh (2006). The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life. Regnery Publishing. ISBN 9781596980044. Description and contents, using up/down arrows.

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Ramesh Ponnuru, Visiting Fellow". AEI.org. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  2. ^ "Ramesh Ponnuru". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 17, 2023.
  3. ^ "About Us". National Affairs. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "April Ponnuru, Ramesh Ponnuru (Politico 50)". POLITICO Magazine. 2015. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  5. ^ Ponnuru, Ramesh. George, Robert Peter; Princeton University. Department of History (eds.). "Abortion in Nineteenth-Century America, in Brief". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ "Catholic and Conservative: A Conversation with Ramesh Ponnuru". Ignatiusinsight.com. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  7. ^ "On Point: The Party of Death - the Party of Death". Archived from the original on April 16, 2007. Retrieved June 5, 2007.
  8. ^ "National Review Institute | Executive Staff". Archived from the original on January 30, 2009. Retrieved January 21, 2009.
  9. ^ "Ramesh Ponnuru Archive". National Review. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  10. ^ "The Empty Playground and the Welfare State". National Review. May 28, 2012. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  11. ^ Beckworth, David; Ponnuru, Ramesh. "Monetary Regime Change". National Review. No. May 28, 2012. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  12. ^ Ponnuru, Ramesh; Beckworth, David. "Savers' Real Problem". National Review. No. February 2, 2015. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  13. ^ "Meet the Press, 21 September 2014". NBC. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  14. ^ "Face the Nation, 22 May 2016". CBS News. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  15. ^ "The Future of the Republican Party". YouTube. Program on Constitutional Government, Harvard. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  16. ^ "Beyond Obamanomics". YouTube. Ashbrook Center. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  17. ^ "Getting to Know UChicago Institute of Politics Fall 2013 Fellow Ramesh Ponnuru". YouTube. University of Chicago Institute of Politics. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  18. ^ Ramesh Ponnuru (2006) The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life. Description & Contents, using up/down arrows. Regnery Publishing. ISBN 9781596980044
  19. ^ Abortion Rhymes with Death Goldberg, J. June 16, 2006
  20. ^ A Frigid and Pitiless Dogma Archived April 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Derbyshire, J. June 2006.
  21. ^ Ponnuru, Ramesh (June 7, 2006). "Unreason: John Derbyshire vs. pro-lifers". National Review Online. Archived from the original on August 7, 2007.
  22. ^ The Mystery of Japanese Growth (PDF). American Enterprise Institute / Center for Policy Studies. 1995. ISBN 0844739391.
  23. ^ Ponnuru, Ramesh (July 30, 2016). "Why Hillary Should Fear Optimism". The New York Times. No. July 30, 2016. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  24. ^ Beckworth, David; Ponnuru, Ramesh (January 27, 2016). "Subprime Reasoning on Housing". The New York Times. No. January 27, 2016. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  25. ^ Ponnuru, Ramesh (February 9, 2015). "Let's Not Mention Inequality". The New York Times. No. February 9, 2015. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  26. ^ Ponnuru, Ramesh (February 18, 2013). "Updating Reaganomics". The New York Times. No. February 17, 2013. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  27. ^ Ponnuru, Ramesh (June 12, 2010). "The Year of the (Pro-Life) Woman". The New York Times. No. June 12, 2010. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  28. ^ Ponnuru, Ramesh; Levin, Yuval. "A Conservative Alternative to ObamaCare". Wall Street Journal. No. November 14, 2013. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  29. ^ "The Gift of Lightheartedness". First Things. No. April 2009. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  30. ^ "What McGovern Wrought". First Things. No. March 2008, Review of "Why the Democrats Are Blue: Secular Liberalism and the Decline of the People's Party, " by Mark Stricherz. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  31. ^ Sherman, Jake; Everett, Burgess. "GOP retreat: A busy schedule". Politico. No. January 14, 2015. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  32. ^ Douthat, Ross (May 30, 2013). "What Is Reform Conservatism?". New York Times. No. May 30, 2015. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  33. ^ Tanenhaus, Sam (July 2, 2014). "Can the G.O.P. Be a Party of Ideas?". The New York Times. No. July 2, 2014. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  34. ^ Room to Grow. Conservative Reform Network. 2014. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  35. ^ "Recovering the Wisdom of the Constitution". Room to Grow. Conservative Reform Network. 2014. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  36. ^ Brooks, David (June 10, 2014). "The New Right". The New York Times. No. June 9, 2014. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  37. ^ Chait, Jonathan (May 10, 2013). "The Facts Are In and Paul Ryan Is Wrong". New York. Retrieved May 10, 2013.
  38. ^ Tracy, Mark (March 25, 2013). "Baby Kristol". The New Republic. Retrieved February 9, 2017.

External links edit