Henry Olsen

Senior Fellow

Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, studies and provides commentary on American politics. His work focuses on how America’s political order is being upended by populist challenges, from the left and the right. He also studies populism’s impact in other democracies in the developed world.

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For media inquiries or to book Mr. Olsen for an interview, contact Josh Britton at jbritton@eppc.org or 202-715-3493.

Click here to view the full archive of Mr. Olsen’s writings at The Washington Post.

Click here to view the full archive of Mr. Olsen’s writings at National Review Online.

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Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, studies and provides commentary on American politics. His work focuses on how America’s political order is being upended by populist challenges, from the left and the right. He also studies populism’s impact in other democracies in the developed world.

Mr. Olsen is an opinion columnist for The Washington Post, where he writes daily pieces focusing on politics, populism, foreign affairs and American conservative thought. He is also the author of The Working Class Republican: Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism and The Four Faces of the Republican Party, co-authored with Dante Scala.

Mr. Olsen was previously an editor at UnHerd.com and a regular contributor to American GreatnessCity Journal, and World Magazine. Mr. Olsen’s work has been featured in many prominent publications, including The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalNational ReviewThe Guardian, and The Weekly Standard.

His predictions of the 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018 elections were particularly praised for their remarkable accuracy. In the 2016 campaign, he accurately identified the factors fueling the rise of Donald Trump early in the race, and his election-eve predictions were among the most accurate of any major analyst or commentator.

Mr. Olsen has worked in senior executive positions at many center-right think tanks. He most recently served from 2006 to 2013 as Vice President and Director, National Research Initiative, at the American Enterprise Institute. He previously worked as Vice President of Programs at the Manhattan Institute and President of the Commonwealth Foundation.

Mr. Olsen started his career as a political consultant at the California firm of Hoffenblum-Mollrich. He then worked with the California State Assembly Republican Caucus before attending law school. He served as a law clerk to the Honorable Danny J. Boggs on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and as an associate at Dechert, Price & Rhoads. He has a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, where he served as Comment Editor for the University of Chicago Law Review.

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The Latest Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Is Likely Dead on Arrival. Biden Should Reconsider.

Henry Olsen

Presiding over a genuine compromise in which both sides give on something they don’t want would reinforce President Biden’s image as a moderate.

Articles

The Washington Post / June 11, 2021

The Fed Doesn’t Want You to Worry About Inflation. You Should.

Henry Olsen

Inflation continues to gather strength, rising to 5 percent in May compared with a year ago. Though the Federal Reserve assures us that this is merely a temporary increase thanks to last year’s pandemic-related drop in demand, that’s likely to be a case of putting wishes ahead of reality.

Articles

The Washington Post / June 10, 2021

Why Donald Trump May Lose Influence in the Republican Party

Henry Olsen

Common wisdom holds that former president Donald Trump remains the dominant force within the Republican Party. The truth is that his personal influence and standing are not as powerful as many imagine, and his power is as likely to decline as it is to increase.

Articles

The Washington Post / June 9, 2021

Republicans Won an Election in a Heavily Latino Texas City. Democrats Should Be Nervous.

Henry Olsen

Democrats are goners throughout the Southwest if Republicans can ever seriously compete for Hispanic voters.

Articles

The Washington Post / June 8, 2021

Withdrawing from Afghanistan Is Hindering U.S. Military Readiness. That Proves Why It’s the Right Move.

Henry Olsen

The deployment of the USS Ronald Reagan to support the withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan highlights the massive gap between U.S. global commitments and U.S. military power.

Articles

The Washington Post / May 28, 2021

The Critics Are Wrong. Florida’s Social Media Law Is a Necessary Protection of Political Speech.

Henry Olsen

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is receiving fire for signing a bill on Monday that bans social media giants such as Twitter and Facebook from censoring posts from registered political candidates. The critics are wrong: The law enhances political speech at a minimal cost to the affected companies.

Articles

The Washington Post / May 25, 2021

Here Are Spending Cuts That All Republicans Can Get Behind

Henry Olsen

The House Republican Study Committee’s alternative budget may be too libertarian-inspired to serve as the template for GOP policy, but that doesn’t mean that a suitable budget for the emerging conservative-populist alliance shouldn’t include big cuts in federal spending that both traditional conservatives and populists can endorse.

Articles

The Washington Post / May 24, 2021

The Supreme Court Can Finally Overturn ‘Roe v. Wade.’ It Should Do It.

Henry Olsen

The Supreme Court’s decision to review the constitutionality of Mississippi’s ban on almost all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy will likely be a watershed in the nearly 50-year battle over Roe v. Wade.

Articles

The Washington Post / May 18, 2021

The Left-Wing Divide on Israel-Palestine is Going to Be a Problem for Joe Biden

Henry Olsen

The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas shows how difficult, if not impossible, it will be to settle the dispute. It also puts a spotlight on how difficult it will be for President Biden to navigate the issue within his own party.

Articles

The Washington Post / May 17, 2021

Are Unemployment Benefits Keeping People From Working? We Will Soon Have an Answer

Henry Olsen

Republicans and businesses have been complaining that workers are not taking available jobs because they can make more on unemployment. As Republican-led states repeal the federal supplemental unemployment benefits program, we will soon know whether this complaint has merit.

Articles

The Washington Post / May 14, 2021

Britain’s Labour Party Just Collapsed in Blue-Collar England. Democrats Should Consider Themselves Warned.

Henry Olsen

Political trends in the United States and Britain have mirrored one another for decades, so the Labour Party’s stunning collapse across blue-collar England in last Thursday’s local elections is a clear warning sign for President Biden and Democrats. A full analysis gives Democrats signs of hope but also shows how difficult it will be to build a durable Democratic coalition.

Articles

The Washington Post / May 10, 2021

Elise Stefanik Could Be Just What the GOP Needs

Henry Olsen

Rep. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.) seems tapped to succeed Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) as the third-ranking member of House Republican leadership. Despite misgivings among more conservative members of the party, Stefanik could be just the type of new leader the GOP needs.

Articles

The Washington Post / May 6, 2021

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