The Atlantic and American Conservatism

Reihan has a detailed response to Patrick Ruffini's thought-provoking post on movement conservatism after Bush (which is the continuation of an interesting back-and-forth he's been having with Soren Dayton), so I'll confine myself to addressing this line:

A new conservative movement would, as the gravitational pull of these things go, make the GOP more conservative. And that would mean largely undoing the Bush legacy in domestic policy. A new agenda will not come from the pages of the New York Times or the Atlantic.


Um ... that would be the Atlantic that published James Q. Wilson's "Broken Windows," Dinesh D'Souza's "Illiberal Education," Barbara Dafoe Whitehead's "Dan Quayle Was Right," and Bernard Lewis's "The Roots of Muslim Rage" - to name just a few of what I think could be fairly described as "agenda-setting" pieces for the American Right. Now obviously the Atlantic is not a movement-conservative magazine, and thus it's never going to be the primary place where the Right's internal debates get hashed out. It is, however, a magazine with a long tradition of publishing interesting ideas and arguments from across the political spectrum, and it's a place that has historically been far more hospitable to conservatives than certain other general-interest magazines I can think of. And a conservative movement that writes off the Atlantic - and by extension any non-movement publication - as irrelevant to its agenda is a conservative movement with a serious cocooning problem.

Ross Douthat is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis. The only problem? He has to prove it works.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

Just In