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.