A quarantine pipe dream has turned into a full-fledged project for three seniors.
Ryan Lanier, Connor Kaeb, and Carl Miller started the website American Discourse, a collection of opinion pieces about American politics. Lanier, editor-in-chief of the website, said the goal is two-fold: to give student writers a place to publish and to promote political discourse among differing viewpoints.
Lanier had the idea for the website while sitting in his sister’s apartment during the COVID-19 quarantine.
“I was reading more articles and books and thinking, ‘I would love to respond to these.’ But, it’s hard to get published as a student,” Lanier said. “It really started out as, ‘I want to write something and I want to help other people who want to get published and learn and develop as a writer.’”
The goal of American Discourse is also to start actual discussion about differing political viewpoints.
“Through an ongoing conversation, we aim to bring conservatives together and provide exposure to the broad range of ideas under the umbrella of ‘conservatism,” the website’s mission statement says. “Through intellectual discourse, we hope to bring the many different conservative visions into a grand conversation with each other.”
Miller, the senior editor, said that there’s a need for discourse within the American media.
“We are a conservative publication, but we’re about discourse. We’re about opening up the plane to folks that may not agree on anything,” he said.
Lanier, Kaeb, and Miller have all written content for the website. Kaeb, managing editor,web designer, and social media manager for American Discourse, is writing a series of pieces about the 1950s and the height of American conservatism.
“I’ve gotten pushback, and I think that’s great. I keep encouraging people to write a response on the site, because that’s exactly the purpose,” he said.
While the three like writing about questions of policy, Lanier said that they are open to all kinds of discussion.
“We don’t want to become a niche policy publication. One of our contributors, Sam Stone (‘20), took a Thomistic approach to defunding the police. That’s the thing you don’t see anywhere else,” Lanier said.
While viewership isn’t extraordinarily high, Kaeb said it is strong and growing.
“It’s been garnering approximately 100 views. We’re not necessarily concerned about the views. With every new person we get to write, the viewership for the site is going to grow,” Kaeb said.
In the future, the group would like to launch a podcast as a counterpart to the website. But, the group is currently focused on getting more writers.
“If people want to write for us, we want to publish them,” Lanier said. “We want to work with them. The most important part for us isn’t getting readers, its people submitting. Nothing is too small, too niche. We want to get your voices out there.”
To submit to American Discourse go to the contact page and past your submission in the provided box.
“We make it really easy to submit,” Kaeb said.