State of the Union

Fifteen Years of TAC

Cover of the TAC’s inaugural October 2002 issue

In a few months, it will be 15 years since Pat Buchanan, Taki, and I first met to talk about starting TAC. The need for a non-neoconservative voice on the right, beyond the estimable Chronicles, had been clear for quite some time, but the 9/11 attack and the establishment response crystallized it. It was then clear that almost the entirety of right-wing media, at least the media that anyone in Congress or a position of power saw, was going to, at least for a while, uncritically go along with the neoconservative agenda—which was, as Norman Podhoretz candidly put it in the Wall Street Journal, regime change in the Mideast from Teheran to Rabat. “We may willy nilly find ourselves forced to topple five or six or seven more tyrannies in the Islamic world,” he wrote, after first destroying the governments of Iraq and Iran.

This kind of thing was being broadcast all the time, and the voices of opposition were scant. There were paleocons, grouped around Chronicles and the important website antiwar.com, and plenty of normal or moderate Republican realists who under their breath voiced their doubts in the halls of the Council of Foreign Relations and (for a few) in Congress. But with Netanyahu receiving rapturous applause in the halls of Congress, the War Party seemed politically omnipotent and unstoppable.

At TAC, of course, we couldn’t stop it, but we could analyze the domestic and international situation and try to understand how we—as conservatives—had arrived at that tragic juncture. It may have taken far too many trillions of dollars wasted, and far too many lives of Americans (and Iraqis) destroyed, but there is now at least a solidly based party of skepticism beyond the left about the stupidity of regime change as a strategy. The evidence so far is that President-elect Donald Trump shares it too!

Of course now, 15 years later, the tasks of a realistic conservatism—and a journal and website seeking to aid and abet it—are different. It is clear that the concerns voiced in Pat Buchanan’s Death of the West, published the same year TAC began, have arrived at the forefront of conversation. In Europe especially, it is not clear that what we have always known as a Western space—culturally Christian, with separation of church and state and a high regard for individual rights—will survive at all. And multiculturalism in the United States is not always a day at the beach, and may possibly turn into a recipe for endless strife. At the same time, the voices calling for a militarized foreign policy, of challenging every conceivable foreign power all over the globe all of the time, are as loud and insistent as ever. So, as it did 15 years ago, it falls upon TAC to fight both these battles, for a realistic and restrained foreign policy, for the survival of an American nation not torn asunder by the ever-escalating demands of multicultural extremists. Guiding both a sense of the limitations of men (and women). No, everything is not possible.

TAC has found financial backers during its life, but it could never have survived without support from readers. That remains as true today as it did in October 2002, when our first issue appeared. We’ve been influential, but to remain so we need funds—to pay writers, to hold conferences, to get our (and your) message out. Please do what you can!

Scott McConnell is a founding editor of The American Conservative.

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Register Now: Wendell Berry and Localism ‘Beyond Food’

Wendell Berry

The American Conservative is excited to cosponsor the fourth annual Front Porch Republic conference on Saturday, September 27 in Louisville, KY. From FPR’s Mark Mitchell:

The conference will examine ways to promote a more comprehensive localist vision that both learns from and goes beyond the increasingly successful local-food movement. It will feature Wendell Berry as the keynote speaker.

Other speakers will include Bill Kauffman, Jeff Polet, Jason Peters, Katherine Boyer, Jeffrey Bilbro, Jack Ray Baker, John E. Kleber, Susannah Black, Justin Litke, and David Bosworth, among others.

The conference registration fee includes lunch and light snacks. The evenings before and after the conference will provide plenty of opportunities for attendees to gather informally with one another, speakers, and FPR editors for conviviality.

Conference space is limited, so please buy your ticket early. We hope you will join us in Louisville!

Register here.

 

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Fall Intern Wanted

The American Conservative is now accepting applications for the fall internship. Join a start-up team dedicated to reestablishing principled, reality-based conservatism.

Editorial interns gain experience in all aspects of producing the website and print magazine. Our priority is intellectual honesty, and we are dedicated to producing frank, original arguments based on substantive analysis. This internship offers real experience in all the moving parts of a media organization and exposure to both editorial and marketing work.

Editorial Assistant responsibilities include:

  • Preparing pieces for the web, writing headlines, curating images
  • Contributing headlines and story ideas
  • Proofreading, editing
  • Conducting research
  • Managing TAC’s presence on social media platforms
  • Blogging for the web and writing for the print magazine
  • Devising strategies for audience development and engagement
  • Participating in team meetings

Clerical duties, such as answering the phone and handling the mail, are also involved.

All candidates should possess:

  • Eagerness to work tirelessly in a small but ambitious team
  • Superb writing and editing ability
  • Strong communication and organizational skills
  • Love of considered, lengthy journalism as well as an appreciation of horse-race politics
  • Excellent news/culture/opinion judgment
  • A background in intellectual conservatism and keen understanding of The American Conservative’s sensibility.

Interns will join our team in Washington, D.C., from September through December, and will receive a stipend. College students or recent graduates who would like to apply should send a résumé and cover letter to [email protected] and [email protected] by August 4. We also consider applications submitted through partner organizations including the Collegiate Network and the National Journalism Center. We’ll post more information about our spring 2015 internships in the coming months.

For those past their own internship years who want to help launch the careers of outstanding young journalists and set the agenda for the next generation, please consider donating to our internship program here.

Follow @amconmag

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Toward a New Foreign Policy Consensus

On June 17, The American Conservative will convene leading thinkers from across the political spectrum at George Washington University for a wide-ranging conversation about American foreign policy after the War on Terror.

The goal of the New Internationalism conference is to address America’s role in the world after Afghanistan and Iraq, and to discuss alternative visions for protecting America’s core security and economic interests in the new global framework.

The American Conservative and our co-sponsors The American Prospect and the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies at GW will build on the emerging consensus that favors prudence, the rule of law, and diplomacy. We hope you can join us!

For more information and to register, visit theamericanconservative.com/newinternationalism. The event schedule is after the jump:

Read More…

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Summer Intern Wanted

Edmund Burke Illustration by Chris Morris

The American Conservative is now accepting applications for the summer internship. Join a start-up team dedicated to reestablishing principled, reality-based conservatism. Our motto, stamped across the magazine’s cover, best captures our driving motivation: ideas over ideology, principles over party.

Editorial interns gain experience in all aspects of producing the website and print magazine. Our priority is intellectual honesty, and we are dedicated to producing frank, original arguments based on substantive analysis. This internship offers real experience in all the moving parts of a media organization and exposure to both editorial and marketing work.

Editorial Assistant responsibilities include:

  • Preparing pieces for the web, writing headlines, curating images
  • Contributing headlines and story ideas
  • Proofreading, editing
  • Conducting research
  • Managing TAC’s presence on social media platforms
  • Blogging for the web and writing for the print magazine
  • Devising strategies for audience development and engagement
  • Participating in team meetings

Clerical duties, such as answering the phone and handling the mail, are also involved.

All candidates should possess:

  • Eagerness to work tirelessly in a small but ambitious team
  • Superb writing and editing ability
  • Strong communication and organizational skills
  • Love of considered, lengthy journalism as well as an appreciation of horse-race politics
  • Excellent news/culture/opinion judgment
  • A background in intellectual conservatism and keen understanding of The American Conservative’s sensibility.

Interns will join our team in Washington, D.C., from June through August, and will receive a stipend. College students or recent graduates who would like to apply should send a résumé and cover letter to [email protected] and [email protected] by March 28. We also consider applications submitted through partner organizations including the Collegiate Network and the National Journalism Center. We’ll post more information about our fall 2014 internships in the coming months.

For those past their own internship years who want to help launch the careers of outstanding young journalists and set the agenda for the next generation, please consider donating to our internship program here.

Follow @amconmag

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Our Cover Is Up for an ASME Award

The November/December 2013 issue of The American Conservative is competing in the American Society of Magazine Editors’ Best Cover Contest for News/Politics/Business.

novdec

The cover art by Michael Hogue reveals a movement that has merely put a populist spin on negative principles forged in the 1970s, and a party that has never fully grappled with the creative challenges of governing (having lost five out of the last six national elections). Read Daniel McCarthy’s cover story here.

Check out the other nominees and take a moment to vote by “liking” our cover on Facebook. You should also make sure you’re part of our growing community there. Help spread the word about fresh “ideas over ideology, principles over party.”

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Last Week for Intern Applications

Illustration by Chris Morris

There is still time to apply for The American Conservative‘s spring internship before the deadline this Friday, November 22.

Join a start-up team dedicated to reestablishing principled, reality-based conservatism. Our motto, stamped across the magazine’s cover, best captures our driving motivation: ideas over ideology, principles over party.

Editorial interns gain experience in all aspects of producing the website and print magazine. Our priority is intellectual honesty, and we are dedicated to producing frank, original arguments based on substantive analysis. This internship offers real experience in all the moving parts of a media organization and exposure to both editorial and marketing work.

Editorial Assistant responsibilities include:

  • Preparing pieces for the web, writing headlines, curating images
  • Contributing headlines and story ideas
  • Proofreading, editing
  • Conducting research
  • Managing TAC’s presence on social media platforms
  • Blogging for the web and writing for the print magazine
  • Devising strategies for audience development and engagement
  • Participating in team meetings

Clerical duties, such as answering the phone and handling the mail, are also involved.

All candidates should possess:

  • Eagerness to work tirelessly in a small but ambitious team
  • Superb writing and editing ability
  • Strong communication and organizational skills
  • Love of considered, lengthy journalism as well as an appreciation of horse-race politics
  • Excellent news/culture/opinion judgment
  • A background in intellectual conservatism and keen understanding of The American Conservative’s sensibility.

Interns will join our team in Washington, DC, from January through May, and will receive a stipend. College students or recent graduates who would like to apply should send a résumé and cover letter to [email protected] by November 22. We also consider applications submitted through partner organizations including the Collegiate Network and the National Journalism Center. We’ll post more information about our summer 2014 internships in the coming months.

For those past their own internship years who want to help launch the careers of outstanding young journalists and set the agenda for the next generation, please consider donating to our internship program here.


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Spring Intern Wanted

Illustration by Chris Morris

The American Conservative is now accepting applications for the spring internship. Join a start-up team dedicated to reestablishing principled, reality-based conservatism. Our motto, stamped across the magazine’s cover, best captures our driving motivation: ideas over ideology, principles over party.

Editorial interns gain experience in all aspects of producing the website and print magazine. Our priority is intellectual honesty, and we are dedicated to producing frank, original arguments based on substantive analysis. This internship offers real experience in all the moving parts of a media organization and exposure to both editorial and marketing work.

Editorial Assistant responsibilities include:

  • Preparing pieces for the web, writing headlines, curating images
  • Contributing headlines and story ideas
  • Proofreading, editing
  • Conducting research
  • Managing TAC’s presence on social media platforms
  • Blogging for the web and writing for the print magazine
  • Devising strategies for audience development and engagement
  • Participating in team meetings

Clerical duties, such as answering the phone and handling the mail, are also involved.

All candidates should possess:

  • Eagerness to work tirelessly in a small but ambitious team
  • Superb writing and editing ability
  • Strong communication and organizational skills
  • Love of considered, lengthy journalism as well as an appreciation of horse-race politics
  • Excellent news/culture/opinion judgment
  • A background in intellectual conservatism and keen understanding of The American Conservative’s sensibility.

Interns will join our team in Washington, DC, from January through May, and will receive a stipend. College students or recent graduates who would like to apply should send a résumé and cover letter to [email protected]* by November 22. We also consider applications submitted through partner organizations including the Collegiate Network and the National Journalism Center. We’ll post more information about our summer 2014 internships in the coming months.

For those past their own internship years who want to help launch the careers of outstanding young journalists and set the agenda for the next generation, please consider donating to our internship program here.

*UPDATE We have been informed that the e-mail link above was incorrect if clicked upon, despite being spelled out correctly. If you have tried to apply and had any difficulties, please try again and send your resume and cover letter to [email protected] or [email protected]

Follow @amconmag

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Why You Should Go to 2013 Front Porch Republic Conference

The estimable Front Porch Republic will host its upcoming conference, titled “City People, Country People: Being a Localist In the Megalopolis,” in Claremont, California. Event speakers include TAC contributors Bill Kauffman and Jeremy Beer. The conference will also contain a screening of recent Maxwell film Copperhead (reviewed by TAC contributor Jordan Bloom in June).

The conference will explore the ideas of place and community in a growing urban and suburban landscape, and strive to determine how people “enmeshed in a massive (sub)urban expanse” can cultivate community and live sustainably. As co-sponsors of the event and friends of FPR, we strongly encourage you to attend.

Here is the program:

Friday, September 20

7:30 p.m. Screening of Copperhead followed by Q&A with screenwriter Bill Kauffman (Rose Hills Theater)

Saturday, September 21

8:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast (Rose Hills Theater Lobby)

9:00 a.m. Introduction (Rose Hills Theater)

Susan McWilliams, Pomona College

9:15 a.m. “The Good Twenty-First-Century City” (Rose Hills Theater)

Chair: Lily Geismer, Claremont McKenna College

Panelists: Phillip Bess, University of Notre Dame School of Architecture; Peter Dreier, Occidental College; Ted McAllister, Pepperdine University

10:45 a.m. “The Possibilities of Work in the New World” (Rose Hills Theater)

Chair: John Seery, Pomona College

Panelists: Susan McWilliams, Pomona College; Andrew Yuengert, Pepperdine University; TBD

12:15 p.m. Lunch and Keynote Address  (Rose Hills Theater and Lobby)

“I Can’t Believe You’re From L.A.: Los Angeles as a Cultural Center”

Speaker: Dana Gioia, author and former chair of the National Endowment for the Arts

2:00 p.m. “Food in the Megalopolis” (Rose Hills Theater)

Chair: Jeff Polet, Hope College

Panelists: Nancy Neiman Auerbach, Scripps College; William Barndt, Pitzer College; Jason Peters, Augustana College

3:30 p.m. “Philanthropy, Localism, and Hypermobility” (Rose Hills Theater)

Chair: William Schambra, Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal

Panelists: Jeremy Beer, American Philanthropic; David Bosworth, University of Washington; Alicia Manning, Bradley Foundation;

4:45 p.m. Closing Remarks (Rose Hills Theater)

Mark T. Mitchell, Patrick Henry College

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Magic Feather Syndrome and the “Cult of Self Esteem”

Noah Millman joined a lively HuffPost Live panel this week to discuss Luke Epplin’s critique of the ubiquitous “magic feather” theme in children’s movies, which emphasizes “the importance of never giving up on your dreams, no matter how irrational, improbable, or disruptive to the larger community”:

As with the titular character in Walt Disney’s 1943 animated feature Dumbo, these movies revolve around anthropomorphized outcasts who must overcome the restrictions of their societies or even species to realize their impossible dreams. Almost uniformly, the protagonists’ primary liability, such as Dumbo’s giant ears, eventually turns into their greatest strength. But first the characters must relinquish the crutch of the magic feather–or, more generally, surmount their biggest fears–and believe that their greatness comes from within. …

In addition to disparaging routine labor, these films discount the hard work that enables individuals to reach the top of their professions. Turbo and Dusty don’t need to hone their craft for years in minor-league circuits like their racing peers presumably did. It’s enough for them simply to show up with no experience at the world’s most competitive races, dig deep within themselves, and out-believe their opponents. They are, in many ways, the perfect role models for a generation weaned on instant gratification.

Millman elaborates on the “Bring It On” point here:

Read More…

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