Reihan Salam

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Reihan Salam
Reihan Salam (2).jpg
Salam in 2019
Reihan Morshed Salam

(1979-12-29) 29 December 1979 (age 40)
Alma mater Harvard University
Occupation Author, journalist
Political party Republican (United States)

Reihan Morshed Salam (/ˈrhɑːn səˈlɑːm/; born 29 December 1979)[1] is a conservative[2] American political commentator, columnist, and author who since 2019 has been president of the Manhattan Institute,[3] and was previously executive editor of National Review,[4] a columnist for Slate,[5] a contributing editor at National Affairs, a contributing editor at The Atlantic,[6] an interviewer for VICE and a fellow at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics.[7] He has appeared on a number of radio and television shows, including NPR's Morning Edition, Talk of the Nation, All Things Considered, and Tell Me More, on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, NBCUniversal's The Chris Matthews Show, WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show, BBC's Newsnight, ABC's This Week, CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS, Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, American Public Media's Marketplace, Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight,[8][9] and The News Hour from PBS.[10] In 2018, Salam released the book Melting Pot or Civil War?: A Son of Immigrants Makes the Case Against Open Borders.[11]

Early life

Salam was born in Brooklyn. His parents are Bangladeshi-born immigrants who arrived in New York in 1976; his father is an accountant and his mother is a dietician. Salam attended Stuyvesant High School and Cornell University before transferring to Harvard University, where he was a member of the Signet Society and lived in Pforzheimer House. He graduated from Harvard in 2001 with an A.B. degree in Social Studies.[12] He grew up in a Muslim household.[13]

Grand New Party

In 2008 Salam co-authored Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream with Ross Douthat. The book grew from a cover story for The Weekly Standard, which called for a reinvention of Republican domestic policy.[14]

Salam and Douthat argued that the Republican Party had lost touch with its own base and that its Bush-era, big-government policies were "an evolutionary dead end." They instead advocated "tak[ing] the 'big-government conservatism' vision" of Bush and giving it "coherence and sustainability" by vigorously serving the interests of the less affluent voters, who had become the party's base. The platform would include "an economic policy that places the two-parent family—the institution best capable of providing cultural stability and economic security—at the heart of the GOP agenda."[15]

Political views and style

Salam has been described as "Literary Brooklyn's Favorite Conservative."[16] He has written that he intends to "pump ideas into the bloodstream of American conservatism."

I write in the hope and expectation that people read people with whom they disagree to challenge their settled views. Suffice it to say, this isn't generally the case, but I'm happy to continue behaving as though it is, as it is true of enough people to justify the effort.[17]

He strongly supported the Iraq War but has since called it a disaster of "world-historical proportions." He claims to advocate policies that strengthen traditional family structure and has supported gay marriage.[citation needed] He has described as "brilliant" figures like Canadian Marxist philosopher Gerald Cohen and Reagan adviser and neoclassical economist Martin Feldstein.[17]

Salam has taken a strong interest in congestion pricing and the encouragement of denser living arrangements, the promotion of natural gas and nuclear power, reform of the US tax code, and the fostering of a more competitive and diverse marketplace of educational providers.[18] He supports illegal drug decriminalization in the US.[19]

He has called for reducing immigration levels to encourage assimilation and integration.[20]

In the wake of the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Salam argued that white flight and unsustainable urban sprawl had contributed to high poverty levels.[21]

Drawing on the San Francisco Bay Area as an example, he has identified restrictive zoning policies as an important barrier to upward mobility in the US.[22]

He has defended work requirements for welfare recipients in New York City and elsewhere.[23]

In May 2014, he suggested that while the War on Drugs had failed, the time had come for governments to curb alcohol consumption by higher alcohol taxes.[24]

He has called for the end of automatic birthright citizenship,[25] the legalization of prostitution,[26] and the financing of more generous tax breaks for parents by higher taxes on affluent childless adults.[27]

In April 2014, he suggested that nonparents should be taxed more than parents so that the parenting burden would be shared by society.[28]

In February 2019, it was announced that he had been selected to become the new president of the Manhattan Institute. He succeeded Larry Mone, who retired after leading the Institute for 24 years.[29]


  1. ^ "Ana Marie Cox and Reihan Salam". Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  2. ^ "Palin, Bachmann Comparisons Are Unavoidable". NPR. 19 August 2011.
  3. ^ "A Great Day for Conservatism, and New York City". National Review. 19 February 2019.
  4. ^ "Reihan Salam tweets new exec editor job".
  5. ^ "Reihan Salam". Slate. Retrieved February 25, 2019. Reihan Salam is a columnist for Slate.
  6. ^ "Reihan Salam". The Atlantic. Retrieved February 25, 2019. Reihan Salam is a contributing editor at The Atlantic and executive editor of National Review. He is the author of Melting Pot or Civil War? A Son of Immigrants Makes the Case Against Open Borders
  7. ^ "Reihan Salam ["author" page about R.S.]". VICE. Vice Media. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  8. ^ "Reihan Salam". The Daily Scene. The Daily Scene. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  9. ^ "The IOP Announces Fall Quarter 2015 Fellows". University of Chicago Institute of Politics. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  10. ^ Woodruff, Judy, interviewer (2018). "Shields and Salam on Trump Putin Summit After-Shocks" transcript, PBS, 20 July. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  11. ^ Coy, Peter (18 September 2018). "A Son of Immigrants Makes the Case Against Open Borders". Bloomberg.
  12. ^ "New Star Rising". Forum. Forum. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  13. ^ Nguyen, Tina (11 December 2015). "WHY THESE MUSLIM REPUBLICANS AREN'T WORRIED ABOUT TRUMP". Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  14. ^ Continetti, Matthew. "The Grand New Party". Weekly Standard. Weekly Standard. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  15. ^ The Grand New Party. Internet Archive. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  16. ^ "How Reihan Salam Became Literary Brooklyn's Favorite Conservative".
  17. ^ a b "They're Young, They're Bright, They Tilt Right". n+1. n+1. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  18. ^ Salam, Reihan (24 June 2009). "Inner Neocons". The American Scene. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  19. ^ Salam, Reihan (16 August 2013). "The sober way to legalize marijuana". Reuters.
  20. ^ Salam, Reihan (31 October 2014). "American melting pot: How slowing down immigration could help us build a more cohesive and humane society". Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  21. ^ Salam, Reihan (4 September 2014). "Poverty in the suburbs: Places that thrived in the era of two-parent families are struggling today". Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  22. ^ Salam, Reihan (27 June 2014). "San Francisco housing policy: It would be a better city if twice as many people lived there". Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  23. ^ "De Blasio's Welfare Mistake".
  24. ^ "Alcohol Taxes Should Be Tripled".
  25. ^ "A Better Solution to America's Immigration Problem".
  26. ^ "It's Time for Legalized Prostitution". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  27. ^ "Tax the Childless".
  28. ^ Salam, Reihan (31 March 2014). "Tax credits and children: Parents should pay lower taxes, and childless people should pay higher taxes". Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  29. ^ Salam, Reihan (20 February 2019). "Praise Pours in for Reihan Salam After Selection as President of Manhattan Institute". Retrieved 22 February 2019.

External links

  • Official website
  • Profile of Salam at
  • Profile of Salam at The New America Foundation site
  • Slate articles by Salam
  • Video debates featuring Reihan Salam on
  • Reihan Salam on IMDb
  • "They're Young, They're Bright, They Tilt to the Right" A conversation with Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam from n+1
  • Review Essay by Salam in March/April Foreign Affairs The Missing Middle in American Politics; How Moderate Republicans Became Extinct
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
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