Welcome to The New Hamiltonian, a magazine of ideas dedicated to informing a sustainable and dynamic 21st Century American center-right.
The impetus to start this reformist web magazine really started a couple of years ago, as we witnessed the slow descent of the once-great Republican Party into a decadent conservative establishment and a tumultuous conservative populist counter-establishment. We founding editors collaborated together on a number of projects in our free time, but ultimately the time and circumstances were never right. We did our policy writing and volunteered our time to local GOP clubs and candidates, fully expecting a Hillary Clinton Presidency and a post-election opportunity to become a voice in the GOP. We expected the GOP would be brought to its knees under the weight of its own excesses, and that reform efforts would necessarily follow.
Then, on the evening of November 8th, 2016, the world changed. Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, and the Republican Party won majorities in both houses of Congress and a plurality of the statehouses. The Republican Party of the Obama Era- divisive, doctrinaire, reactionary- had taken over the entire American government, with the populist counter-establishment taking the Presidency under Trump and the decadent establishment taking Congress under Ryan. The worst instincts of either end of the GOP- Ryan’s doctrinaire conservatism and Trump’s authoritarianism and white nationalism- have been institutionalized. Someone must resist, and stand for higher principles.
The cause of GOP reform has been set back at least two years, if not longer- a Republican Party controlling all branches of government, drunk with power, will see no need to listen to reformers. It will be inclined to overreach and overplay its hand, if Ryan believes he has an opportunity to push the supply-side agenda and if Trump believes he has a mandate to “make America great again.” In a sense, we’ll get to witness all the follies of unchecked power at play- and in due time, the failure and unpopularity of Trump’s and Ryan’s agendas will necessitate exactly the sort of GOP reform we and others have been calling for throughout the Obama Era.
So we set up The New Hamiltonian in opposition to the main establishments of the Republican Party, but also with a positive vision of something new. There are Republicans out there who are profoundly uncomfortable with President Trump and not much more comfortable with the Ryan agenda; we propose to provide a fountain of ideas for them, and in some ways, a source of identity. We hope, along with our fellow GOP reformers in these dark days, to keep alive the spirit of reform that has defined our party at its best. If Trump and Ryan’s house of cards collapses, we’ll be there, ready to pick up the pieces.
A few general principles, loosely and broadly interpreted and debated, will inform our writings and advocacy:
On political economy, we are Hamiltonians through-and-through.
On politics, we are ultimately nationalists with a healthy respect for federalism and reformism.
On foreign affairs, we align with realist internationalists.
On culture, we are moderately conservative.
If the GOP is to survive into the future as a responsible governing party, it will need to reform itself, in our opinion along moderate lines. We are prepared to provide commentary, analysis, and opinion on the contours of such reform moving forward.