Today we announce the “soft launch” of American Purpose , a new home for publishing, podcasting, convening, and helping people create a distinct political and cultural community.
This is an uncomfortable time to start a magazine. The country is approaching a presidential election. The news is coming almost too fast to process. We are beset by a pandemic, economic deterioration, and poisonous partisanship.
More than that, American Purpose is joining a marketplace of ideas that’s not just well populated but overstuffed. We know full well that you have other choices about what to read, watch, and listen to.
Still, some things set us apart. One is the caliber of our writers: Today’s piece by Francis Fukuyama on liberalism and its discontents is our first offering and, we hope, a representative one. (We anticipate publishing responses to that essay in January 2021.) Another is our acute awareness of the precariousness of liberal democracy—that is, the idea of the sovereignty of the people within the constraints of the rule of law and principles of individual autonomy. Liberal democracy is now denigrated by some on the left and the right within this country and under more profound attack around the world. True, liberal democracy has sins to answer for; we will discuss them. Nevertheless, we aim to defend it.
That means maintaining a big tent in which opposing views can share a civil home. It means covering not just politics but the culture that shapes and is shaped by it. It means both keeping up with the headlines and offering room for writers and thinkers to report, analyze, and reflect on what’s happening and how we got here.
We hope you’ll enjoy and benefit from what you find here and that you’ll join us—reading, supporting, contributing, and participating in our events. We’re certain that this unhinged season is precisely the right time to re-examine and renew the American purpose.
—Jeffrey Gedmin, Adam Keiper, and Suzanne Garment
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