Conservative commentator and legal scholar David French has joined The New York Times as an opinion columnist.
French is a well-known writer who was a contributing writer at The Atlantic. Per The New York Times, “Although the path that brought David to Times Opinion is an unusual one, the qualities he exhibits as a writer are precisely the ones we value most. He is forthright in his views, yet open to counterargument; sincere in his ideological commitments, yet willing to call out those who normally share his beliefs when he believes they’ve wandered astray.”
Here is a brief look at French’s life and career.
Who is David French?
French was born in Alabama. He’s an evangelical Christian and political and cultural commentator.
He is a legal scholar and a veteran of the U.S. Army. The John Locke Foundation said, “In 2007, he deployed to Iraq, serving in Diyala Province as Squadron Judge Advocate for the 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, where he was awarded the Bronze Star.”
French’s career has historically been in law. According to Ballotpedia, French graduated from Harvard Law School and began working as a lawyer. He has been the president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education as well as senior counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice. He also became a writer for National Review.
His writing career continued as he became a contributing writer at The Atlantic, where he is also the author of a newsletter called “The Third Rail.”
French is known as an influential conservative thinker in the “Never Trump” movement. On March 2, 2016, French wrote an article entitled, “Why I Changed My Mind and Joined the #NeverTrump Movement.” He said that he would not vote for Trump in the 2016 election and continued to write in opposition to Trump while also being in support of conservative values, such as being a prominent pro-life advocate.
Reason described French this way: “Although quite conservative, French has been very critical of pro-Trump and nationalist conservatives, particularly those who embrace illiberal political ideas.”
In 2020, The Dispatch, which is seen as a center-right publication that is critical of Trump, formally launched. French, Jonah Goldberg, Stephen A. Hayes, Rachael Larimore and others began publishing there.
One of French’s best-known essays is called “The Spirit Blessing of Political Homelessness.” Published on The Dispatch, this essay observed that many do not fit neatly into a political party. French said that independence from political parties can be liberating and allow a person to maintain integrity.
In 2020, French published a book called, “Divided We Fall: America’s Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation.” He emphasized the need to increase national unity in order to avoid civil war. French has written several editorials over the last few years.
Now, he will be an opinion columnist at The New York Times beginning Jan. 30.