The American Conservative

The American Conservative: The Magazine for Thinking Conservatives is published by The American Conservative. This magazine focuses on Social and Political issues in all aspects of morality and conservatism.

Articles from Vol. 11, No. 6, June

As Goode as It Gets: The Constitution Party Has a Nominee, but Does It Have a Future?
During the Republican primaries, conservatives turned to one candidate after another to be the right's alternative to Mitt Romney: Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and finally Rick Santorum. One by one, their campaigns fizzled....
A Stasi for America
Enemies: A History of the FBI, Tim Weiner, Random House, 560 pages A ripple of protest swept across the Internet in late March after the disclosure that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was teaching its agents that "the FBI has the ability to...
Ballot of a Thin Man
Our daughter turned 18 this past winter, which meant, among other milestones, that in the April New York Republican primary she cast her first-ever vote. Being a girl of uncommonly good sense, she chose Ron Paul. She and my wife supplied the good doctor...
Beyond Originalism
Cosmic Constitutional Theory: Why Americans Are Losing Their Inalienable Right to Self-Governance, J. Harvie Wilkinson III, Oxford University Press, 161 pages "In theory there is no difference I between theory and practice," said Yogi Berra, but...
Deep Background
As governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton regularly participated in state trade missions to Europe. Clinton, who had visited the Soviet Union during his Oxford years, had earlier come to the attention of U.S. intelligence agencies because of his travels...
Eastern Right: Conservative Minds Convert to Orthodox Christianity
Since the Second World War, Roman Catholicism has had enormous influence on American intellectual conservatism. The postwar rebirth of conservatism had two sources: libertarianism--a reassertion of classical liberalism against statism--and cultural...
Freud and the Drone: Robot War Means More Killing, Less Guilt
Perhaps in a whimsical mood, Sigmund Freud cited some unusual evidence for the aggressive impulse he found in mankind. In his essay "Reflections on War and Death," he writes that French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau "asks the reader what he would...
From Boomers to Bust
When the April figures on unemployment were released May 4, they were more than disappointing. They were deeply disturbing. While the unemployment rate had fallen from 8.2 percent to 8.1 percent, 342,000 workers had stopped looking for work. They...
Hamilton Shrugged
Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States, Michael Lind, Harper, 592 pages Any good book of history tells a useful tale about the present as well as the past. And a great book of history looks into the future as well. Michael Lind...
Hungary Reconstituted: The "Easter Constitution" Reasserts a National Identity
In the sorry past of the country, Hungary endured without a written constitution, just like the United Kingdom. Fortunately, the "light" arrived from the East, and Hungary received its first written constitution from the Soviet Union in 1949. Under...
Impaired Visions: Thomas Sowells Thinking Is Blinded by Partisanship
Thomas Sowell is no ordinary right-wing pundit. For one thing, he is actually a subject expert, having a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago. For another, he has won many honors off limits to hacks. From a National Humanities Medal to...
Kuwait's Crossroads: Islamists and American Power Imperil the Gulf's Freest State
KUWAIT CITY, KUWAIT -- Voting in Kuwait is a risk factor for obesity. Outside the polling places candidates offer food and drinks to prospective voters. Unfortunately, the outcome of the most recent legislative election wasn't as sweet as the refreshments....
Markets First, Elections Later: Why Democratization Fails from Russia to Iraq
It was November 1989, and I was in Moscow accompanying a delegation of senior Washington Times editors. They were eager to gloat over the coming collapse of communism with their own eyes. We were in the shabby, very much the worse for wear, unpretentious...
Neo-Keynesian Trap: Cheap, Abundant Credit Stimulates the Wrong Kind of Growth
The grand global debate in political economy boils down to Keynesian stimulus vs. austerity. Stripped of rhetoric, the debate is much the same in nominally communist China, socialist Europe, and notionally free-market America: should the central state...
Old and Right
As one scans the works of the great political intellectuals, it is apparent that while none of them could be properly accused of warmongering, there is an abiding fascination with the kinds of leadership, heroism, and unity we are more likely to find...
Revolt in the Ranks: Dissent in the Armed Forces Is a Patriotic Tradition
On a September afternoon in the peacetime year of 1821, a regiment of Rhode Island militia completed its annual review and prepared to go home. Suddenly the regiment's parade field in Providence became the scene of a spontaneous military riot. In...
Romney Capitalism: Mitt's Father Knew That Industry, Not Finance, Built America
Edward Lewis: "We don't make anything, Phil!' Phil Stuckey: "We make money, Edward!' --"Pretty Woman" (1990) There's a subplot in the movie "Pretty Woman" that serves as an apt metaphor for the business careers of George Wilkin Romney and his...
Ron Paul's Paradoxes
Ron Paul's Revolution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired, Brian Doherty, Broadside Books, 304 pages I was a bit nervous about reviewing Brian Doherty's excellent new biography of Ron Paul and his movement. The Paulites are hard to please. I could...
Stealth Turkey: The Trillion-Dollar F-35 Is an Easy Target
Congressman Paul Ryan's laudable if sometimes misguided efforts to trim the federal deficit deserve support. So here's an idea for him. Want to lose a trillion dollars in ugly budget fat? Cut off the F-35 fighter/bomber. $1 trillion is now the estimated...
The Science of Policy
Uncontrolled: The Surprising Payoff of Trial-and-Error for Business, Politics, and Society, Jim Manzi, Basic Books, 300 pages Human beings crave certainty. Throughout history, assorted shamans, haruspices, auspices, astrologers, sibyls, kaballahists,...
Turn off, Tune out, Drop In
The television blares: a blonde bombshell declaims the headlines or a few red-faced older men shout themselves to apoplexy. For millions of cable viewers, this is the news--or what used to be the news. Thirty years ago nonstop reporting, with some...
Welcome to Takiwood
"Sorry, I'm in make up, if it's something important, call my agent, Israel Goldfarb." This is how I've been fending off the myriad of calls from eager females trying to reach me now that I'm about to become a major movie star. The story so far: Michael...
When News Is Propaganda: Cable Networks Perfect Their Partisan Slant-And That Means War
The video age has sped up our cognitive powers. We get to the point faster.... People who watch the evening news see entire South American cities collapse under earthquakes in sixty seconds or less. So if you're just talking for sixty seconds, you'd...
When Religion Goes Wrong
Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics, Ross Douthat, Free Press, 352 pages Former poet laureate Robert Haass once began a poem by observing, "All the new thinking is about loss/ In this it resembles all the old thinking." Indeed, it seems...