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. 9, September

Al-Qaeda's Map
"A part from political maps of mankind, there are natural maps of mankind.... One of the first laws of political stability is to draw your political boundaries along the lines of the natural map of mankind." So wrote H.G. Wells in What Is Coming:...
American Exceptionalisms
The old kept us out of conflict; the new leads to empire.In 1765, John Adams unwittingly penned one of the proof texts of American exceptionalism. "I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder," the young lawyer wrote in his...
American Exceptionalisms: The Old Kept Us out of Conflict; the New Leads to Empire
In 1765, John Adams unwittingly penned one of the proof texts of American exceptionalism. "I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder," the young lawyer wrote in his diary, "as the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence...
Are Conservatives Irrational?
The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science--and Reality, Chris Mooney, Wiley, 327 pages Chris Mooney believes conservatives are wrong about many more important issues than are liberals. Like any principled science writer, he's also...
Baiting the Dragon
They Eat Puppies, Don't They?, Christopher Buckley, Twelve, 335 pages With war in Iraq officially ended and the one in Afghanistan slowly and painfully winding down, lonely eyes are turning toward the Islamic Republic of Iran. But if the neocon-truckling...
Battle of Columbus
Obamas Fast and Furious scandal gets a sequel in New Mexico."Where are my guns?" demanded Pancho Villa, flamboyant banditwarrior of the Mexican revolution. Though he had paid for them, the store across the U.S. border in the town of Columbus, New Mexico...
Battle of Columbus: Obama's Fast and Furious Scandal Gets a Sequel in New Mexico
Where are my guns?" demanded Pancho Villa, flamboyant bandit/ warrior of the Mexican revolution. Though he had paid for them, the store across the U.S. border in the town of Columbus, New Mexico hadn't delivered. He had other grievances as well. So...
Buckley's Unlikely Heir
Alexander Cockburn (1941-2012)I first encountered the writing of Alexander Cockburn in the early 1990s on the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal, where he served as a regular columnist. Given that Alex was one of the premier radical-left journalists...
Buckley's Unlikely Heir: Alexander Cockburn (1941-2012)
I first encountered the writing of Alexander Cockburn in the early 1990s on the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal, where he served as a regular columnist. Given that Alex was one of the premier radical-left journalists of our era, this highlights...
Deep Background
Normally Washington bureaucracies shut down in August, but this year the intelligence community was working flat out to develop information on two crises in the Middle East. One official describes a deep sense of foreboding, recalling NSC Counter Terrorism...
Four Men and No Babies
Is "Fortress Astoria" the end of the family?In a large Queens apartment its inhabitants have dubbed "Fortress Astoria," four middle-aged bachelors are making a what-me-worry? last stand against marriage and the conventional trappings of manhood.The men,...
Four Men and No Babies: Is "Fortress Astoria" the End of the Family?
In a large Queens apartment its inhabitants have dubbed "Fortress Astoria," four middle-aged bachelors are making a what-me-worry? last stand against marriage and the conventional trappings of manhood. The men, all college buddies, all heterosexual,...
Gangs of Aleppo
The Arab Spring succumbs to post-state violenceIn the view of our Laputan foreignpolicy establishment, what is happening in Syria and elsewhere is a conflict between "democracy" and dictatorship. Valiant youths who fight for "freedom" are destined to...
Gangs of Aleppo: The Arab Spring Succumbs to Post-State Violence
In the view of our Laputan foreign-policy establishment, what is happening in Syria and elsewhere is a conflict between "democracy" and dictatorship. Valiant youths who fight for "freedom" are destined to triumph, bringing happiness and prosperity...
Hamilton Was Right
The Political Philosophy of Alexander Hamilton, Michael P. Federici, The John Hopkins University Press, 291 pages Toward the end of his work, Michael Federici writes, "It is rare to find books or articles on Hamilton that do not in some way make...
How to Freeze the Pentagon
In July, freshman congressman Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), along with Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), introduced an amendment to the House's 2013 defense appropriations bill freezing defense spending at 2012 levels. Though it merely eliminates a proposed $1.1...
How We Became Israel
Peace means dominion for Tel Aviv- and now for us.Peace means different things to different governments and different countries. To some it suggests harmony based on tolerance and mutual respect. To others it serves as a euphemism for dominance, peace...
How We Became Israel: Peace Means Dominion for Tel Aviv-And Now for Us
Peace means different things to different governments and different countries. To some it suggests harmony based on tolerance and mutual respect. To others it serves as a euphemism for dominance, peace defining the relationship between the strong and...
In Defense of Bradley Manning
The Passion of Bradley Manning: The Story of the Suspect Behind the Largest Security Breach in U.S. History, Chase Madar, OR Books, 167 pages In a short new book about Bradley Manning, journalist and civil rights lawyer Chase Madar necessarily and...
Killer Culture
Have we lost the meaning of iniquity?"A rain of blood has blinded my eyes . . .We are soiled by a filth that we cannot clean,United to supernatural vermin."-T.S. Eliot, "Murder in the Cathedral""Art is what you can get away with."- Andy WarholWho currently...
Killer Culture: Have We Lost the Meaning of Iniquity?
"A rain of blood has blinded my eyes ... We are soiled by a filth that we cannot clean, United to supernatural vermin!' --T.S. Eliot, "Murder in the Cathedral" "Art is what you can get away with"' --Andy Warhol Who currently reads Pamela...
LePage against the Machine
This street-tough governor is a new kind of Maine Republican.Until 2010 the state of Maine produced the most exquisitely moderate Republicans. Whenever Democrats needed a vote for gun control, a tax hike, or bipartisan cover for a social issue, they...
LePage against the Machine: This Street-Tough Governor Is a New Kind of Maine Republican
Until 2010 the state of Maine produced the most exquisitely moderate Republicans. Whenever Democrats needed a vote for gun control, a tax hike, or bipartisan cover for a social issue, they could dial a Maine area code and make a date with one of the...
Letters
BUCKLEY AND RUSHERWick Allison's review of David Frisks biography of William A. Rusher, If Not Us, Who? (July 2012), is (mostly) terrific. Allison, following Frisk, accords Bill Rusher his rightful place in die vanguard of die conservative movement,...
My Pen Pal Gore Vidal
Now he belongs to the Ages ... Well, why not? Edwin Stanton's grandiloquent sendoff for the martyred Lincoln applies to Gore Vidal, author of the best fictive treatment our 16th president is ever likely to get. Plus it would have appealed to Gore's...
No Gold for Sportsmanship
So the miracle has happened. A generation has been inspired and millions of children have been driven away from their hand-held devices and have gone out on the track, running, jumping, throwing. For once the Brits got it right and proved the gloom...
No Gold for Sportsmanship
So the miracle has happened. A generation has been inspired and millions of children have been driven away from their hand-held devices and have gone out on the track, running, jumping, throwing. For once the Brits got it right and proved the gloom gluttons...
No More Isolationists
Henry James was "cosmopolitan isolationist," Henry Cabot Lodge an "isolationist imperialist." Randolph Bourne was an isolationist who "espoused principles that we would today call internationalist," while the ever bellicose Newt Gingrich is an isolationist...
No More Isolationists
Henry James was "cosmopolitan isolationist," Henry Cabot Lodge an "isolationist imperialist." Randolph Bourne was an isolationist who "espoused principles that we would today call internationalist," while the ever bellicose Newt Gingrich is an isolationist...
Old and Right
We live in an age that is frightened by the very idea of certitude, and one of its really disturbing outgrowths is the easy divorce between words and the conceptual realities which our right minds know they must stand for. This takes the form especially...
Revolt of the Rich
Our financial elites are the new seccessionists.It was 1993, during congressional debate over the North American Free Trade Agreement. I was having lunch with a staffer for one of the rare Republican congressmen who opposed the policy of so-called free...
Revolt of the Rich: Our Financial Elites Are the New Seccessionists
It was 1993, during congressional debate over the North American Free Trade Agreement. I was having lunch with a staffer for one of the rare Republican congressmen who opposed the policy of so-called free trade. To this day, I remember something my...
The Conservative Kerouac
Beat novelist, Catholic, Republican -do you know Jack?Someone's gonna give you wingsYou'll think it's what you needYou'll fly, man, you'll be so highBut your history acts as your gravity- Joseph ArthurFor someone who documented just about every moment...
The Conservative Kerouac: Beat Novelist, Catholic, Republican-Do You Know Jack?
Someone's gonna give you wings You'll think it's what you need You'll fly, man, you'll be so high But your history acts as your gravity --Joseph Arthur For someone who documented just about every moment of his life in torrents of breathless,...
The Map to Power
The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate, Robert D. Kaplan, Random House, 432 pages Winston Churchill noted the symbiotic relationship between space and human action with the remark that...
The Party Left Him
Obama helped make former Rep. Artur Davis a RepublicanArtur Davis, a former Democratic congressman from Alabama, was the first House member outside Illinois to endorse Barack Obama's presidential bid. Yet over the next several years he bucked his party...
The Party Left Him: Obama Helped Make Former Rep. Artur Davis a Republican
Artur Davis, a former Democratic congressman from Alabama, was the first House member outside Illinois to endorse Barack Obama's presidential bid. Yet over the next several years he bucked his party on a number of high-profile votes and became the...
The Right & the Drug War
Conservatives are the last prohibitionists, but that's changing.Pat Robertson began publicly criticizing the drug war in December 2010, and he has become more vocal since. Unlike the vague critiques often heard from prominent figures - even Barack Obama...
The Right & the Drug War: Conservatives Are the Last Prohibitionists, but That's Changing
Pat Robertson began publicly criticizing the drug war in December 2010, and he has become more vocal since. Unlike the vague critiques often heard from prominent figures--even Barack Obama has called the drug war a failure--Robertson's insights have...
Tyranny of Merit
Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy, Christopher Hayes, Crown Publishers, 292 pages "Elite" wasn't always a dirty word. Before the 19th century, the term described someone chosen for office. Because this typically occurred in the church,...
Vidal's Machiavelli
"The Best Man" by Gore Vidal, Gerald Schoenfield Theatre, dir. Michael Wilson Four years after "The Audacity of Hope" and "Change We Can Believe In," Americans are enduring a presidential campaign of relentless negativity, one side claiming the...