The American Conservative

The American Conservative (TAC) is a bi-monthly magazine founded in 2002 and published by the American Ideas Institute. The publication states that it exists to: promote a conservatism that opposes unchecked power in government and business; promote the flourishing of families and communities through vibrant markets and free people; and embrace realism and restraint in foreign affairs based on America's national interests.[2]

The American Conservative
The American Conservative magazine logo
EditorRobert W. Merry
CategoriesEditorial magazine
PublisherJon Basil Utley[1]
FounderScott McConnell, Patrick Buchanan, and Taki Theodoracopulos
First issueOctober 7, 2002
CountryUnited States
Based inWashington, D.C., U.S.


Cover September October 2016 edition of The American Conservative
October 2016 issue

The American Conservative was founded by Scott McConnell, Patrick Buchanan, and Taki Theodoracopulos in 2002 in opposition to the Iraq War. Daniel Strauss wrote:

The idea of The American Conservative was that there were enough who disagreed with mainstream conservatism—libertarians, paleoconservatives, and civil libertarian conservatives, among other dissenters—to warrant such a publication. While other conservative magazines like National Review and The Weekly Standard marched more or less in lockstep with the Bush Administration, The American Conservative argued for a different course—sometimes with greater ferocity than the major political magazines on the left.[3]

Scott McConnell served as the magazine's first editor, followed by managing editor Kara Hopkins.

Before the 2006 midterm elections, The American Conservative urged its readers to vote for Democrats, saying, "It should surprise few readers that we think a vote that is seen—in America and the world at large—as a decisive “No” vote on the Bush presidency is the best outcome."[4]

As of 2007, Buchanan and Taki ceased to be involved with the editorial operations of The American Conservative, although Buchanan continues to contribute columns.[5] Ron Unz was named publisher in 2007.[6] In 2011, Wick Allison became the magazine's publisher, followed in 2013 by Jon Basil Utley, the current publisher.[1]

In 2010, Daniel McCarthy succeeded Kara Hopkins as editor. In September 2011, the magazine introduced an editorial redesign of its print publication, and in May 2012, a redesign of its website. In October 2014, Benjamin Schwarz, the former national and literary editor of The Atlantic, was named national editor of the magazine.[7]

In November 2016, Robert W. Merry succeeded Daniel McCarthy as editor, with Lewis McCrary and Kelley Beaucar Vlahos as Executive Editors. After Merry's retirement in July 2018, W. James Antle III was named editor.[8]


In 2009 Reihan Salam, National Review editor,[9] wrote that the publication had "gained a devoted following as a sharp critic of the conservative mainstream."[10]

In 2012 David Brooks, columnist at The New York Times, wrote:

The American Conservative has become one of the more dynamic spots on the political Web. Writers like Rod Dreher and Daniel Larison tend to be suspicious of bigness: big corporations, big government, a big military, concentrated power and concentrated wealth. Writers at that Web site, and at the temperamentally aligned Front Porch Republic, treasure tight communities and local bonds. They’re alert to the ways capitalism can erode community. Dispositionally, they are more Walker Percy than Pat Robertson.[11]

At an event at the University of New Orleans in March 2017, Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance shared, “I did this interview with Rod [Dreher] at The American Conservative magazine…and then the book [Hillbilly Elegy]…exploded!”[12]

Notable contributors

Some notable contributors throughout the years at The American Conservative have included: Andrew Bacevich, Doug Bandow, Patrick Buchanan, Rod Dreher, Leon Hadar, Peter Hitchens, Samuel P. Huntington, Roger Scruton, James Kurth, Christopher Layne, Michael Lind, William S. Lind, John Mearsheimer, Rand Paul, Mark Perry, Steve Sailer, and Jim Webb.

See also


  1. ^ a b Masthead / The American Conservative
  2. ^ "About Us". The American Conservative. 2017-02-28.
  3. ^ Daniel Strauss: The American Conservatives Next Step Archived 2011-08-08 at the Wayback Machine. The Campus Progress, March 29, 2009.
  4. ^ "GOP Must Go". The American Conservative. 2006-11-20.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "California Anti-Bilingual Proposition King Ron Unz to be Next Publisher of The American Conservative". The Washington Note. 2007-03-19. Archived from the original on 2007-03-28. Retrieved 2007-04-10.
  7. ^ "The American Conservative Names Benjamin Schwarz National Editor".
  8. ^ "James Antle is New Editor of The American Conservative". The American Conservative. Retrieved 2018-11-13.
  9. ^ Salam, Reihan (2014-04-22). "Is It Racist to Date Only People of Your Own Race?". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  10. ^ Reihan Salam: The Mark Sanford Revolution? The Atlantic, March 13, 2009.
  11. ^ Brooks, David (2012-11-19). "The Conservative Future". New York Times. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  12. ^ Chris Surprenant (2017-04-20), Faith, Hillbillies, and American Politics An Evening with J.D. Vance & Rod Dreher, retrieved 2018-02-26

External links

American Conservative Union

The American Conservative Union (ACU) is an American political organization that advocates for conservative policies, ranks politicians based on their level of conservatism, and organizes the Conservative Political Action Conference. Founded in 1964, it is the oldest such conservative lobbying organization in the country. The ACU is concerned with what they define as foundations of conservatism, issues such as personal liberty or freedom, foreign policy, and traditional values.

Angela Cockerham

Angela Cockerham is a Democratic member of the Mississippi House of Representatives, representing the 96th district. Cockerham joined the Mississippi House appropriations committee in 2013.According to Cockerham, she doesn't cast votes based on her party affiliation but based upon her beliefs:

"When I'm casting my vote, I'm voting my conscience, based upon what is in the best interest for my district and the state."

In its 2017 rankings of the members of the Mississippi legislature, the American Conservative Union (ACU) found Cockerham to be the most conservative Democrat in the House, with an overall rating of 56 per cent (the average for Democratic representatives that year was 28 per cent).

Bill Kauffman

Bill Kauffman (born November 15, 1959) is an American political writer generally aligned with the localist movement. He was born in Batavia, New York, and currently resides in Elba, New York, with his wife and daughter.

A devout Roman Catholic, Kauffman was also an intimate correspondent of the late Gore Vidal, with whom he shares many ideological similarities.

Chris Brown (Mississippi politician)

Christopher R. "Chris" Brown (born March 5, 1971, in Walnut, Mississippi) is the Republican state representative for District 20 based about Monroe County in the northeastern portion of his state.

A businessman, Brown is married with five children. In 2016, his Republican colleagues named him the vice chairman of the House Republican Caucus. He is chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and serves on these other committees: Banking and Financial Services, Conservation and Water Resources, Constitution, Management and Public Health and Human Services. In 2014, Brown was elected president of the Mississippi Legislative Conservative Coalition.

In 2016, Brown was recognized by the American Conservative Union Foundation receiving the Award for Conservative Excellence

While in the legislature, Brown has worked on legislation focusing on limited government, free enterprise, individual liberties, and strengthening families. In January 2013, Brown said that he was drafting legislation that would purportedly override federal gun control rules by making Mississippi-made firearms subject to state, rather than federal law.

Conservative Political Action Conference

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC; SEE-pak) is an annual political conference attended by conservative activists and elected officials from across the United States. CPAC is hosted by the American Conservative Union (ACU).In 2011, ACU took CPAC on the road with its first Regional CPAC in Orlando, Florida. Since then ACU has hosted regional CPACs in Chicago, Denver, St. Louis, and San Diego. Political front runners take the stage at this convention.The 2019 CPAC will take place at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center from February 27 to March 2.

Donald C. Bruce

Donald Cogley Bruce (April 27, 1921 – August 31, 1969) was a U.S. Representative from Indiana and a founder of the American Conservative Union.

Born in Troutville, Pennsylvania, Bruce graduated from high school in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and attended Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio. He was employed in the radio broadcasting industry for twenty years, serving as program director, business manager, and general manager. In 1960 he was elected to the United States House of Representatives as a Republican from Indiana, serving two terms before being defeated in the 1964 senatorial primary.Following the landslide defeat of U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater in the November presidential election, Bruce joined with other conservatives to discuss responses to the seeming liberal triumph represented by Lyndon Johnson's reelection. This led to a subsequent meeting in December at which the nascent organization was named the American Conservative Union. Bruce was elected as the ACU's first chairman, a position he held until October of the following year. He also established Bruce Enterprises, a management and political consulting firm.

Bruce died of a heart attack on August 31, 1969 in Round Hill, Virginia and is buried nearby.

James Burnham

James Burnham (November 22, 1905 – July 28, 1987) was an American philosopher and political theorist. Burnham was a prominent Trotskyist activist in the 1930s, as well as a well-known isolationist. In later years Burnham left Marxism and became a public intellectual of the American conservative movement. His book The Managerial Revolution, published in 1941, speculated on the fate of capitalism. Burnham was also an editor and a regular contributor to the American conservative publication National Review on a variety of topics.

L. Brent Bozell III

Leo Brent Bozell III (; born July 14, 1955) is an American conservative writer and activist who founded the Media Research Center, Parents Television Council, and Bozell served as president of the Parents Television Council from 1995 to 2006. In addition, Bozell serves on the board for the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights and has served on the board of directors in the American Conservative Union. Bozell's column is also nationally syndicated by Creator's Syndicate where his work appears in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Washington Times, New York Post, Los Angeles Times, and National Review.

Lynda Wilson

Lynda Wilson (born 1960) is an American politician in the Republican Party served one term from 2015 to 2016 in the Washington State House of Representatives representing the 17th legislative district after defeating Democrat Monica Stonier in 2014. In 2016 she left the State House to run for a Washington State Senate seat being vacated by Republican Don Benton against Democrat Tim Probst. Wilson represents herself as a strong conservative and has a lifetime rating of 89% from the American Conservative Union (ACU) where outgoing State Senator Don Benton has an ACU rating of 79%.

Matt Schlapp

Matthew Aaron "Matt" Schlapp (born December 18, 1967) is an American political activist and lobbyist who is chairman of the American Conservative Union, the oldest conservative lobbying organization in the country.

Schlapp also serves as principal at the lobbying firm Cove Strategies. Previously he served as vice president of federal affairs at Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC. He also served as George W. Bush’s deputy assistant and political director. He is also a Fox News political contributor.

Minnesota's 7th congressional district

Minnesota's 7th congressional district covers almost all of the western side of Minnesota except for the far south, which is in the 1st district. It is by far the state's largest district, and has a very rural character. Cities in the district include Moorhead (its largest city), Fergus Falls, Alexandria and Willmar.

Historically, the district has leaned Republican; it has a CPVI of R+12. It has been represented since 1991 by Collin Peterson, a member of the DFL. He is rated 26% conservative by the American Conservative Union for 2017 and 57% progressive by a liberal group. Until the 2018 election the 7th was the most Republican district in the country to be represented by a Democrat. However after January 3, 2019 it will be the second most Republican district to be represented by a Democrat, after Utah's 4th congressional district.

National Review

National Review (NR) is an American semi-monthly editorial magazine focusing on news and commentary pieces on political, social, and cultural affairs. The magazine was founded by the author William F. Buckley Jr. in 1955. It is currently edited by Rich Lowry.

Since its founding, the magazine has played a significant role in the development of conservatism in the United States, helping to define its boundaries and promoting fusionism while establishing itself as a leading voice on the American right.The online version, National Review Online, is edited by Charles C. W. Cooke and includes free content and articles separate from the print edition.

Pat Buchanan

Patrick Joseph Buchanan (; born November 2, 1938) is an American paleoconservative political commentator, author, syndicated columnist, politician, and broadcaster. Buchanan was a senior advisor to U.S. Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan, and was an original host on CNN's Crossfire. He sought the Republican presidential nomination in 1992 and 1996. He ran on the Reform Party ticket in the 2000 presidential election.

He co-founded The American Conservative magazine and launched a foundation named The American Cause. He has been published in Human Events, National Review, The Nation, and Rolling Stone. He was a political commentator on the MSNBC cable network, including the show Morning Joe until February 2012, and now appears on Fox News. Buchanan has been a regular on The McLaughlin Group since the 1980s. His political positions can generally be described as paleoconservative, and many of his views, particularly his opposition to American imperialism and the managerial state, echo those of the Old Right Republicans of the first half of the 20th century.

Republican and conservative support for Barack Obama in 2008

United States President Barack Obama, a member of the Democratic Party, was endorsed or supported by some members of the Republican Party and by some political figures holding conservative views in the 2008 election. Although the vast majority of Obama's support came from liberal constituencies, some conservatives identified in him shared priorities or other positive attributes. As in any election, voters can and sometimes do cross party lines to vote for the other party's nominee. Republican and conservative Obama supporters were often referred to as "Obama Republicans", "Obamacans" or "Obamacons".Republican and conservative supporters of Obama included elected officials, former elected officials, academics, commentators, and retired military officers. According to exit polls on Election Day, 9% of those who identified themselves as Republicans voted for Barack Obama, up slightly from the 6% of self-identified Republicans who voted for John Kerry in 2004.

Robert W. Merry

Robert W. Merry (born 1946) is an American journalist, publishing executive, commentator, and author. He was the editor of The American Conservative.

Rod Dreher

Ray Oliver "Rod" Dreher (; born February 14, 1967) is an American writer and editor. He is a senior editor and blogger at The American Conservative and author of several books, including How Dante Can Save Your Life. He has written about religion, politics, film, and culture in National Review and National Review Online, The Weekly Standard, The Wall Street Journal, Touchstone, Men's Health, the Los Angeles Times, and other publications. He was a film reviewer for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and chief film critic for the New York Post. His commentaries have been broadcast on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, and he has appeared on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, Court TV, and other television networks.

Ron Unz

Ron Keeva Unz (born September 20, 1961) is a former businessman, best known for an unsuccessful race in the California gubernatorial election, 1994, and for sponsoring propositions promoting structured English immersion education. He was publisher of The American Conservative from March 2007 to August 2013. He now publishes The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection: A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media.

Tom Hoefling

Thomas Conrad Hoefling (born December 20, 1960) is an American activist and politician. He is the founder and national chairman of America's Party and was the party's 2012 and 2016 presidential nominee. Hoefling has served as political director for Alan Keyes' political group America's Revival, and as a representative for the American Conservative Coalition.

William S. Lind

William S. Lind (born July 9, 1947) is an American conservative author. He is the author of several books and one of the first proponents of fourth-generation warfare (4GW) theory. Director of The American Conservative Center for Public Transportation. He used the pseudonym Thomas Hobbes in a column for The American Conservative.

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