The American Conservative was founded in 2002 to reignite the conversation that conservatives ought to have engaged in since the end of the Cold War, but didn’t. TAC’s founders—Scott McConnell, Patrick J. Buchanan, and Taki Theodoracopulos—believed, in different but compatible ways, that what passed for conservatism in the United States wasn’t conserving much of anything. At the time, the American right was marching in lockstep towards a disastrous regime change war in Iraq, and an increasingly globalist domestic agenda at home. TAC would offer a different voice.
The very name chosen for the publication was a challenge to the GOP Beltway conservative establishment. TAC’s vision was actually seeking to conserve what’s best about America. As Scott McConnell wrote in the magazine’s founding editorial:
We believe conservatism to be the most natural political tendency, rooted in man’s taste for the familiar, for family, for faith in God. We believe that true conservatism has a predisposition for the institutions and mores that exist. So much of what passes for contemporary conservatism is wedded to a kind of radicalism — fantasies of global hegemony, the hubristic notion of America as a universal nation for all the world’s peoples, a hyperglobal economy. In combination with an increasingly unveiled contempt for America’s long-standing allies, this is more a recipe for disaster.
Against it, we take our stand.
McConnell’s vision continues to guide the publication today. Twenty years on, TAC has flourished from an upstart journal into a vibrant institution working to advance this vision across multiple fronts. 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. 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 becoming a member of The American Conservative today.
TAC is published by the American Ideas Institute, a 501c3 nonprofit, and donations are tax-deductible. Learn more about our donor clubs here. For the latest audited financial report and 990 tax filing, click here.
We Take Our Stand, Founding Editorial, October 2002
TAC at 15: Still Fighting After All These Years, Scott McConnell, May 2018