|Publisher||Jon Basil Utley|
|First issue||October 7, 2002|
|Based in||Washington, D.C., U.S.|
The American Conservative (TAC) is a magazine published by the American Ideas Institute which was founded in 2002. Originally published twice a month, it was reduced to monthly publication in August 2009, and since February 2013, it has been bi-monthly.
The publication states that it exists to promote a conservatism that opposes unchecked power in government and business alike; 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, otherwise known as paleoconservatism.
The American Conservative was founded by Pat Buchanan, Scott McConnell and Taki Theodoracopulos in 2002 in opposition to the Iraq War.
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: "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".
As of 2007, Buchanan and Taki ceased to be involved with the editorial operations of The American Conservative, although Buchanan continues to contribute columns. Ron Unz was named publisher in 2007. In 2011, Wick Allison became the magazine's publisher, followed in 2013 by Jon Basil Utley, the current publisher.
In 2010, Daniel McCarthy succeeded 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.
In November 2016, Robert W. Merry succeeded 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.
In April 2020, Johnny Burtka, executive director and acting editor of The American Conservative, said that the publication’s ambition is to "become The Atlantic of the right" and said its online page views had "grown significantly" under the Trump administration.
In 2009, Reihan Salam, National Review editor, wrote that the publication had "gained a devoted following as a sharp critic of the conservative mainstream".
In 2012, David Brooks, columnist at The New York Times, called The American Conservative "one of the more dynamic spots on the political Web" and said its "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."
Prominent contributors to The American Conservative have included Helen Andrews, Andrew Bacevich, James Antle III, Doug Bandow, Pat Buchanan, Andrew Cockburn, Rod Dreher, Paul Gottfried, Leon Hadar, James Kurth, Daniel Larison, Christopher Layne, Michael Lind, William S. Lind, Douglas Macgregor, Eric Margolis, Daniel McCarthy, Scott McConnell, Robert W. Merry, Rand Paul, Mark Perry, Matt Purple, Scott Ritter, Steve Sailer, Paul W. Schroeder, Benjamin Schwarz, Roger Scruton, Taki Theodoracopulos, Ron Unz and Kelley Beaucar Vlahos.
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