American Compass launched at the start of May with essays from leading conservatives including executive director Oren Cass and research director Wells King, Senators Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton, American Affairs editor Julius Krein, First Things editor R. R. Reno, and Notre Dame professor Patrick Deneen.

The launch earned feature coverage in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, Bloomberg, National Review, and The American Conservative and widespread attention on social media. Cass also appeared on National Review’s The Editors podcast with Rich Lowry, Hill TV’s Rising, and The Bill Walton Show, and adaptations of initial essays were published by National Review and The Daily Caller.

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LEADING GOP SENATORS: American Compass is “BOLD,” “MUCH NEEDED,” “ESSENTIAL,” and helping conservatives “better understand our nation” and “rethink how we apply our principles.”

Senator Mitt Romney: “American Compass is helping conservatives rethink how we apply our principles to the problems of today. I welcome their contribution to our national policy debates.”

Senator Marco Rubio: “I am optimistic that the winds are changing, with organizations like American Compass already proving essential in the process of charting the right course.”

Senator Tom Cotton: “Essays like the ones in this series [from American Compass] can help us better understand our nation, shorn of the self-serving myths and pieties so common in Washington. More important, groups like American Compass can equip us with the policy to win our independence in a dangerous world, a task that cannot be outsourced to anyone else. We must do it for ourselves.”

Senator Josh Hawley: “Congrats to Oren Cass on this bold, and much needed, new venture!”

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Prominent Commentators: American Compass is “TIMELY,” “IMPORTANT,” “IMPRESSIVE,” akin to Martin Luther’s 95 Theses. Our work “elevates the debate,” “portends a new direction for the American political order,” and is “HOTLY CONTESTED”; leaders “ignore it at their peril.”

Henry Olsen, Washington Post: “Martin Luther started the Protestant Reformation by reportedly nailing 95 theological theses to the door of Wittenberg’s church. The website of Oren Cass’s new think tank, American Compass, could be the start of a similar, long-overdue Conservative Reformation. … American Compass aspires to be the tool with which future conservative leaders can guide the American ship of state. Those men and women ignore it at their peril.”

Yuval Levin, National Review: “Today brings an important and impressive new one that can help all of us think about how to elevate the debates we’re engaged in. It takes the form of a newly launched project called American Compass. … [Their essays] elevate the substance and the form of the right’s internal arguments and make it easier to understand what we are disagreeing about. … And even where I disagree with the case that American Compass looks set to advance, it seems to me that it will help us see that challenge more clearly, and so will help us understand it and meet it.”

Lexington, The Economist: “Led by some of the most interesting conservative thinkers, including Yuval Levin and Oren Cass, plus a handful of senators, it rejects Mr Massie’s market fundamentalism and takes a more flexible and positive view of government than most Republicans have since the 1970s. … An impressive organisation of this dissident faction, called American Compass, would go further. … Politics does seem to be moving towards the dissidents.

Professor Patrick Deneen, University of Notre Dame: “American Compass proposes that conservatives revisit the question of whether a nation can afford an economic order without a ‘compass,’ without a sense of direction that is guided by national policy and shared intention.  The question is essential, and the answers on offer on this site portend a new course for the American political order.

Christopher Rufo, American Greatness: “Cass’s challenge to conventional economic thinking is timely and important. … [H]e has already succeeded in raising the fundamental question: what is the purpose of growth? This is the rightful starting point of any debate and, judging by the initial reaction from economists of all stripes, one that will be hotly contested.”

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Social Media Buzz: What American Compass is doing is “BRAND NEW,” “SMART,” “IMPORTANT,” “MEATY,” “SUBSTANTIVE,” “INCISIVE,” “HARD-HITTING,” “something really no other think tank is doing.” We are “making everyone think more deeply,” “fostering real conservative policy and fresh thinking,” and “building a politics of solidarity.”

Chris Buskirk, Editor and Publisher, American Greatness: “Pay attention to what Oren Cass and American Compass are doing. It’s brand new, smart, and important.”

Josh Hammer, Opinion Editor, Newsweek: “[I] am genuinely very impressed with Oren Cass’s rollout of American Compass. Meaty, substantive, incisive, hard-hitting content that fits the zeitgeist. Bravo.”

Saagar Enjeti, Media Fellow, Hudson Institute: “This is why we need American Compass. We need an organization that fosters real conservative policy and fresh thinking for a new generation of appointees and operatives.”

Brad Wilcox, Director of the National Marriage Project, University of Virginia: “Delighted to see this new initiative launch, led by Oren Cass and dedicated to making us all think more deeply about the connections between the economy and the family.”

Zaid Jilani, Writing Fellow, University of California: “Keep an eye on American Compass and Oren Cass who are putting in the work to rethink economic orthodoxy on the right, something really no other think tank is doing.”

David Lapp, Co-Founder, Braver Angels: “Really cool to see American Compass lifting off. They will make an important conservative contribution to building a politics of solidarity.”

Oren Cass
Oren Cass is chief economist at American Compass.
Recommended Reading
American Compass Embarks on New Phase of Growth

Announcing new hires and initiatives to expand Compass’s reach and impact

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American Compass executive director Oren Cass joins The Federalist’s Emily Jashinsky to discuss the failures of the “college-for-all” model in the U.S.

Talkin’ (Policy) Shop: Balancing U.S. Trade

On this episode of Policy in Brief, Oren Cass is joined by American Compass policy director Chris Griswold to discuss how U.S. trade fell so far out of balance—and some ideas for how to rebalance it.