A new conservative journal “on politics, policy, and culture” hit the virtual newstands yesterday: The Federalist. Its statement of purpose:
[G]enerally, if today’s publications are interested in politics, they are primarily interested in the horserace or the personalities, not the philosophical underpinnings of the day’s debate. Or if they are interested in culture, they are essentially collections of reviews, often so dry and academic as to be very limited in reach.
We want to offer you something different. Consider the mission of the original Time, the original aggregator. Henry Luce’s magazine aimed to cover and distill the news of politics, economics, world affairs and culture for the nation’s rising middle class. It leaned to the political right, with a small-c conservatism equipped with a populist respect for the middle class reader outside of New York and Washington, and an abiding love for America at a time when snark and cynicism were not considered substitutes for smart analysis.
Luce’s 1920s prospectus for the magazine included this “list of prejudices”:
- A belief that the world is round and an admiration of the statesman’s view of all the world.
- A general distrust of the present tendency toward increasing interference by government.
- A prejudice against the rising cost of government.
- Faith in the things which money cannot buy.
- A respect for the old, particularly in manners.
- An interest in the new, particularly in ideas.
At The Federalist, you’ll read interesting essays informed by this general worldview, with writing on big subjects and small. If you are a subscriber to The Transom, you can expect more content along those lines, with the sharpest writers digging into the major issues of the day with a viewpoint that rejects the assumptions of the media establishment. You can also expect us to expand more into the cultural space, featuring long reads on a wide variety of interesting topics about a nation facing a period of historic transformation. And we may add another newsletter or three.
The chief mover is Ben Domenech, who has been writing some interesting stuff on Libertarian Populism, which was described by Washington Examiner columnist Tim Carney as:
Instead of trying to convince successful people that Democrats will take away their wealth, why not explain to the middle class that big government is keeping them down? … It’s time for free-market populism and a Republican Party that fights against all forms of political privilege — a party that champions all who want to work and take risks in order to improve their lives and raise a family.
Hey, that’s me! So if The Federalist plans to explain these issues in a serious way, sign me up as a charter subscriber.