The future of American conservatism is bright—and that future is being defined, defended, and delivered by The American Conservative, an institution devoted to “recapturing the flag of the conservative movement” through quality print and web journalism, conferences and debates, and forming the minds of the next generation of American leaders.
The American Conservative is not like other publications that call themselves “conservative.” We adhere closely to our institutional maxim: ideas over ideology; principles over party. We were founded by eminent conservatives who were appalled by the sins, follies, and deceptions of neoconservatism: by the disastrous war in Iraq and compulsive meddling around the globe; by disrespect for the Bill of Rights; by the Washington-knows-best philosophy manifested in such centralizing laws as the No Child Left Behind Act; and by a “too big to fail” bias that privileged Wall Street over the small independent businesses, farms, and cooperative ventures that are the soul of the American economy.
The American Conservative, or TAC for short, was and is different. We are Main Street conservatives; we cherish local community, the liberties secured by the Founders, the civilizational foundations of faith and family, and—we are not ashamed to use the word—peace.
Translated into public policy, TAC’s principles rest upon these three beliefs:
- We are a republic, not an empire, and this should be reflected in our foreign policy. We prefer prudence, restraint, and realism—a foreign policy consistent with the U.S. Constitution—to the war-mongering and bullying liberal interventionism that has blighted both Republicans and Democrats in recent years. We understand that American interests are best served by having prosperous neighbors and peacefully promoting our values through diplomacy, as opposed to the hubristic regime-change wars and nation-building projects of the past generation. We support a strong and advanced military unencumbered by the constraints of the military-industrial-congressional complex, one that uses its power judiciously for protecting America’s interests and promoting balance-of-power stability at crucial strategic points upon the globe.
- We believe that strong families, local communities, and voluntary associations are the foundation of a free and virtuous society and that public policy should serve these ends. Free and competitive enterprise, yes; crony capitalism, monopolies, and special favors for the politically connected, no. We believe that America has gained and continues to benefit from new immigrants. But we also, after decades of mass immigration, believe that slower rates of immigration would benefit both immigrants and citizens by taking into account the challenges and opportunities of assimilation. We prize citizenship over consumerism and support a constitutional order that secures individual liberty and the common good. Our allegiance is to the Main Streets of America, not to Wall Street.
- Faith, family, tradition, and our Western heritage are endangered by an alliance of big government, big corporations, and nasty cultural revolutionaries who display contempt for our past and would tyrannize our present and future. So we defend religious liberties. We defy the poisonous absurdities of political correctness. We stand for restoring social capital in an age where it is collapsing. We cherish that great conservative awareness of unintended consequences and the insufficiency and even danger of good intentions. And we believe it imperative to pass on to the next generation of Americans an honest and unvarnished understanding of our proud history and a joyful appreciation of America’s—and the West’s—fantastically rich cultural heritage.
Note well that we are The American Conservative. In foreign, domestic, and cultural policy, we promote American interests, and by American we do not mean the Georgetown-Manhattan-Cambridge axis that effectively dictates most major government policies. Rather, our hearts, and our field of vision, take in the entirety of this country: from Maine to New Mexico, from Montana to Louisiana, from Ohio to Oregon.
For well over half a century, the American conservative movement has sat upon the increasingly wobbly three-legged stool consisting of an aggressive and interventionist foreign policy; an economic policy that values short-term profits and cronyism over long-term investments and genuine competition; and the throwing of bones and scraps to social conservatives in the form of often-erratic Supreme Court nominees.
This stool that has defined conservatism since the end of the Cold War no longer stands.
The American Conservative is restoring American constitutional conservatism. True conservatism is not about debt and warfare. It never was. Liberty, localism, a strong middle class, staying out of foreign wars in which American interests are not at stake: this is what a salutary, honorable, attractive, and winning American conservatism of tomorrow looks like.
We live in an historical moment pregnant with possibilities. Never have the political and cultural circumstances been more favorable to our ideas and the opportunity for building a movement of “Main Street” conservatives more promising. The American Conservative is working to make this vision a reality by elevating the tone and tenor of our public discourse, which is often held captive to ideological echo-chambers and partisan hackery. We aim to be the leader of a new movement of conservatives with the resources to educate America’s political and cultural leaders in the values of Main Street America.
You can be a part of this effort by joining The American Conservative today. Together we’ll reshape the Right, and move the political debate in more hopeful directions. For the latest audited financial report and 990 tax filing, click here.
THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE TEAM
ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
Tucker Carlson (Chairman) is the host of Tucker Carlson Tonight on the Fox News Channel. He is the author of several books including Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution.
Tim Carney is a senior columnist for the Washington Examiner and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He is the author of several books including Alienated America: Why Some Places Thrive While Others Collapse.
David Azerrad is an assistant professor of government and research fellow at Hillsdale College’s campus in Washington, D.C.
Oren Cass is founder and executive director of American Compass, a new think tank which aims to restore an economic consensus that emphasizes the importance of family, community, and industry to the nation’s liberty and prosperity. He is the author of The Once and Future Worker: A Vision for the Renewal of Work in America.
Yuval Levin is a resident scholar and director of Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) as well as the founding editor of National Affairs. He is the author of several books including A Time To Build: From Family to Community to Congress and the Campus, How Recommitting to Our Institutions Can Revive the American Dream and The Fractured Republic: Renewing America’s Social Contract in the Age of Individualism.
James Piereson is president of the William E. Simon Foundation, a private grantmaking foundation located in New York City. He is the author of several books including Shattered Consensus: The Rise and Decline of America s Postwar Political Order.
Philip Bess teaches graduate urban design and theory at the Notre Dame School of Architecture where he previously served as Director of Graduate Studies. He is the author of several book including Till We Have Built Jerusalem: Architecture, Urbanism, and the Sacred.
Charles Marohn is the Founder and President of Strong Towns and the author of Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity.
THE AMERICAN IDEAS INSTITUTE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Dominique “Dom” Watkins the Chairman of the Board of the American Ideas Institute. He is a partner in a small company that domestically manufactures decorative castings for the Landscape Architectural market. His earlier career included working for BEA, UPS, AOL, Free Congress Foundation and a couple start ups. He holds an MBA from the University of Maryland and a BA from GWU.
Jeremy Beer has worked in the nonprofit sector since 2000. Prior to co-founding American Philanthropic, LLC, in 2009, he was vice president of publishing and information systems at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, where he also served as the editor in chief of the institute’s award-winning press, ISI Books.
As a partner at American Philanthropic, Jeremy has worked closely with dozens of philanthropies and nonprofit clients in such areas as strategic planning, message creation, program analyses and audits, major-donor club creation and implementation, direct mail, grantwriting, and collateral material development. He is also the co-founder of AmP Publishers Group and has served as a literary agent for a select group of clients, including
the Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn family.
Jeremy has published more than 40 essays and articles on philanthropy, culture, and politics in various academic and popular journals. He has lectured at Georgetown University, Calvin College, Augustana College, national meetings of the American Political Science Association, and elsewhere.
Jeremy holds a doctorate in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin, where he held a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. He is a member of the Mars Hill Audio, Front Porch Republic, and Catholic Phoenix boards of directors.
Michael C. Desch
Michael C. Desch is professor and chair of the department of political science at the University of Notre Dame. A graduate of Marquette and the University of Chicago, he is the author of numerous articles and books on international relations and foreign policy including When the Third World Matters: Latin America and U.S. Grand Strategy (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993), Civilian Control of the Military: The Changing Security Environment (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), and Power and Military Effectiveness: The Fallacy of Democratic Triumphalism (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008). He has worked on the staff of a U.S. Senator, in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the Department of State, and in the Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division of the Congressional Research Service.
C. Boyden Gray
C. Boyden Gray, of the District of Columbia, is the former Ambassador to the European Union (2006-2007) and former Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy Diplomacy (2008-2009). He also served as former Special Envoy for European Union Affairs (2008-2009) and as White House Counsel in the administration of President George H.W. Bush (1989-1993).
Prior to his appointment as Special Envoy, Mr. Gray served as U.S. Ambassador to the European Union in Brussels from 2006 to 2007. From 1969 to 1981 and 1993 to 2005, Mr. Gray was a partner in the Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale and Dorr law firm in Washington. He served as White House Counsel in the administration of President George H.W. Bush (1989-1993) and served as Legal Counsel to Vice President Bush (1981-1989). Mr. Gray also served as counsel to the Presidential Task Force on Regulatory Relief during the Reagan Administration.
Howard Ahmanson, Jr.
Howard Ahmanson, Jr. is a philanthropist living in Orange County, California.
William Ruger is the president of the American Institute for Economic Research. Previously, he served as the vice president of research and policy at the Charles Koch Institute. His most recent academic appointments have been as an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Texas State University and an adjunct assistant professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas-Austin. Ruger is the author of a biography of Milton Friedman and co-author of two books on state politics: The State of Texas: Government, Politics, and Policy and Freedom in the 50 States: An Index of Personal and Economic Freedom.
Scott McConnell co-founded The American Conservative in 2002, where he has held the positions of executive editor and editor, and where he is currently a founding editor. A former editorial page editor of the New York Post, McConnell continues to write on politics and American foreign policy.
George O’Neill, Jr.
George O’Neill, Jr. is an artist living in Lake Wales, Florida.
Robert W. Merry
Robert W. Merry, a longtime Washington journalist and publishing executive, spent 12 years as a political reporter for The Wall Street Journal and 22 years as an executive at Congressional Quarterly Inc., including 12 years as CEO. After CQ was sold to The Economist of London, he served as editor of The National Interest before retiring to Washington State to write books. He was lured from retirement in November 2016 to become editor of The American Conservative. Merry has produced five volumes on American history and foreign policy, most recently President McKinley: Architect of the American Century.
Rachel Bovard is a Senior Director of Policy at the Conservative Partnership Institute. She is the co-author of Conservative: Knowing What To Keep with former Senator Jim DeMint.