American Greatness: Year One

By | 2017-06-02T18:30:05+00:00 July 14, 2017|
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Today marks the first anniversary of American Greatness. Birthdays, naturally, should be celebratory occasions. As an upstart publication that arrived in the midst of a contentious presidential election fight with no money, few personnel, and little more than a strong conviction that readers would appreciate what we had to say—well, we have plenty to celebrate today.

Early last Spring, we saw that no other publication on the American Right was responding to, much less recognizing, the people’s demand that our government respect their sovereignty.

It was clear that the older, established media—Left and Right—had lost their way. They treated Donald Trump either as a joke or as an enemy of “conservative principles,” in part, we think, because the policies he advocated were deemed “incorrect” by those who have come to see themselves as arbiters of supposedly right thinking.

We believed then, and now, that Trump presents an unusual opportunity—maybe the last opportunity in our lifetimes or in the very life of the country—to revitalize American politics.

A tall order? Sure. That was the point of Michael Anton’s bracing, electrifying “Flight 93 Election,” which became the must-read of the 2016 election.

“Charge the cockpit or you die,” Anton wrote. “You may die anyway. You—or the leader of your party—may make it into the cockpit and not know how to fly or land the plane. There are no guarantees. Except one: if you don’t try, death is certain.”

At the very least, we saw a chance to question and challenge the staid and intellectually bankrupt dogmas of Conservative Inc. We asked: “who cares about conservatism”? Then we declared our independence. It’s worth briefly revisiting that original editorial statement:

We believe that American conservatism has lost its way and, as a result, it has lost much of its original appeal. The once-vibrant political movement that nominated Barry Goldwater, elected Ronald Reagan, and defeated global Communism has become ossified and unthinking to the point that conservative intellectuals act like priests mediating unknowable truth to the masses and administering the sacraments of conservative orthodoxy. Regular excommunications have sapped the life and urgency from a movement once known for its intellectual vigor. We intend to offer guidance and clarity to a spent movement by reclaiming the ideas and traditions upon which this country and our system of free government is based.

A year on, that effort remains very much a work in progress—much as the Trump Administration is in still finding its way in the face of unprecedented hostility from Congress, the press, and the cultural Left.

In that same declaration, we laid out the broad outlines of a “Greatness Agenda” consisting of strong borders, prudent trade agreements that do not sacrifice national economic interests to global ones, and a foreign policy broadly defined as “America First.” It’s fair to say that agenda has quite a long way to go in terms of policy success. Nobody ever said it would be easy.

At the same time, we’ve exceeded our own expectations for the publication in surprising ways. When this site launched exactly one year ago, we had three regular contributors and little more than a few thousand visitors during our first week. Today, we’ve attracted the talent of writers whose names you probably know (Victor Davis Hanson, Roger Kimball, the Hon. Thaddeus McCotter, Andrew C. McCarthy, Conrad Black) and many more that you don’t—but soon will. We’re striving to cultivate new and original talent that will help shape the way readers think about and understand America.

Our work is read by senior White House staff and members of Congress. We’re linked regularly from RealClearPolitics, Lucianne, Instapundit, PowerLine, National Review, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. (Even Matt Drudge has taken notice.) The attention is gratifying—and inspiring. We have so much more to do.

“Build it, and they will come,” the adage goes. And you have. Thank you for reading. We hope you’ll stick with us for the next year, and for many more years to come.

About the Author:

The Editors
  • Robert Gaus

    Congratulations! I really enjoyed JAG, and you have grasped the baton masterfully. I appreciate the quality of the contributors, and the lack of advertising barrage. Not sure if this is a good business plan ,but I guess you know best.

  • GrannyAesop

    Happy Birthday – and many more to come.
    Stay focused on your founding mission.

  • sotto voce

    Happy Birthday, American Greatness. Your journal has been my daily must-visit site from its beginnings. It’s been edifying to see some of my favorite writers migrate to your pages (Victor Davis Hanson, Andrew McCarthty, et al.). Please keep doing what you do so well — you are a clarifying beacon.

    • Peter63

      I do ardently agree with this. Thank you, sotto voce, for saying it.

      However I fear that Mr Trump and the GOP have lost the plot.

      [1] ‘The GOP-majority House Committee on Appropriations approved a spending bill early Friday morning which allows young illegal immigrants to win jobs in President Donald Trump’s agencies or in government-owned workplaces.’ (Breitbart, July 14)

      [2] ‘WASHINGTON—A Hawaii judge late Thursday ordered a nationwide loosening of President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on U.S. entry for some travelers from six Muslim-majority countries, ruling the administration’s strict approach contradicted a recent Supreme Court ruling.’ (Wall St Journal, July 14). So Derrick Watson is now overruling the Supreme Court. As Ann Coulter points out, what do lawless judges have to do for Congress to impeach them?

      [3] President Trump is working on a plan to cut legal immigration to half a million a yea, (Politico, July 12). Wasn’t the country promised a moratorium?

      It really is up to the people. If the USA is not to be completely taken over by Third-Worlders, all members of Congress must be primaried who have not fought like tigers to stop immigration.

      • MaroonVee

        The administration is not going to defend Obama’s DACA. Did you miss that? And what were the choices, wide open borders Hillary, or doing his best Trump. I’ll go with Trump.

  • Whiskey Sam

    Love the site. It’s also a daily read (several times a day, in fact). Here’s to continued success!

  • A very Happy Birthday!
    Splendid site, content, and authors!
    “Break a leg”!
    From one of your biggest fans.

  • SarahAnne

    Huge fan here! Thank you all for you incomparable work. Hoping for much more greatness to come…

  • Sarah Laughlin

    Thank you for such fine pieces as David Danford’s explanation of “covfefe.” American Greatness continues to be the best place to get quality Conservative satire. Covfefe.

  • holman

    We are at the gate of a very dark future as a result of the abandonment of American Exceptionalism. The enactment of the ACA in 2009 triggered a spontaneous grass roots movement which provided the engine for wave election after wave election culminating in placing Trump in the Capitol.

    It has been a very real form of combat but it is FAR from over. The forces of evil, and that is what they are, have been routed despite the name-calling, race-baiting of the first order, the national press losing its mind and fomenting Lone Wolf terror attacks, an active coup attempt by the previous administration, law-enforcement and our national intelligence agencies after the President was elected under our Constitution. These Dead-enders WILL attempt to unseat him by any means necessary.

    Put simply, we have a lot of stuff to undo. And we have a lot of people who would rather have a large government presiding over an anemic, poverty-soaked society than exist within a free society in prosperity with a smaller, functioning government.

    Congress and the President need to up their game. Gain a sense of urgency. Get on a de-facto war footing. That swamp and those Leftist ideologues are not going to go quietly into the good night.

    And Congress, if you do not get it done . . . Repeal the ACA, Tax Reform that delivers 4 or 5 percent growth delivering jobs and prosperity, and STOP this incessant borrowing to pay for the borrowing . . . you WILL be washed away by another wave.

    • alainny

      we must defend our nation with the fighting spirit of the men who died at the Alamo, among others.

  • Yucca Boy

    The Flight 93 Election piece was the light in the bell tower of the North Church. AG is shooing away the darkness. Thank you.

  • Faceless Commenter

    I’ve been here from that first notepad-like post.

  • Historybuff

    Wow… the Editors write:

    “We believed then, and now, that Trump presents an unusual opportunity—maybe the last opportunity in our lifetimes or in the very life of the country—to revitalize American politics.”

    Unbelievable. If the Editors believe that a draft-dodging, wife-beating, cheater, lying scam artist… is perhaps the last opportunity to revitalize’ American politics

    This is a sick, maybe even ‘fake’, news & opinion source.

    Scratching this place off the ‘must read’ list.
    HB

    • JoeS54

      How did it get on your must read list in the first place? American Greatness…”MAGA”… You must be kind of slow. If you hate Trump, it’s probably not for you. Unless you want to broaden your mind.

    • MaroonVee

      It’s his agenda, not the angel wings he’s lacking. Thank God it isn’t Hillary.

    • jack dobson

      It really shouldn’t be on your list. You come across as someone better situated to listen to Rachel Maddow conspiracy theories.

      • Historybuff

        And you come across as just another russian trump troll.
        HB

    • sotto voce

      Like many Americans, I wholeheartedly and without reservation chose a Queens vulgarian who honestly loves America as the antidote to the toxic ideology that produced a faculty-lounge-lizard Marxist who never missed an opportunity to sell America (and the West) down the river. In the words of the estimable Dr.Victor Davis Hansen, the election of President Trump has clarified the divide between “those who are wise and those who are foolish”.

  • alainny

    a conservative publication for me — as well as the bow-tied professors and preppy blonds with toothy smiles.

  • Richard Bledsoe

    A year of great commentary, keep up the good work!

  • Lanfranco Cantagalli

    Happy Birthday American Greatness!
    We need Your contribution too to cope with the MSM !

  • swek

    Ideology of resentment and hate – dumbed down for Trump U graduates

    • Karl Marx

      You ain’t seen nothing!

  • Karl Marx

    Sorry to be a party pooper, but AG has never been able to capture the edge and freshness of the original Journal of American Greatness (long stuffed down the memory hold for still unexplained reasons). Part of an explanation of why is likely lack of pseudanimity. You are all veterans of Conservatism Inc. who write under your real names. So it is unlikely any of you will write something that would call out a million anitfa Twitter trolls. NRO became cucked garbage, so AG stepped in to replace it.

  • jack dobson

    Congratulations and Happy Birthday. American Greatness has become the epicenter of right-of-center thought and has become an invaluable source for information on the president, Trumpism, and the sad state of Conservatism, Inc. I look forward every day to reading this site. Thank you.

  • MinnesotaConservative

    You folks have done an amazing job. Congratulations and please stay true.