Ideology In The Blogosphere & The Rest Of The World

Liberal blogger Oliver Willis takes a look around the blogosphere & opines that:

“In the blogosphere, you have almost a reverse dynamic to that found in the media. Overwhelmingly liberal bloggers identify themselves directly as Democrats. Yes, there are many who see the party as the lesser of two evils, and in their hearts would prefer Dennis Kucinich or Ralph Nader, but overwhelmingly I’ve found bloggers on the left have no problem saying “yep, I’m a Democrat” (I obviously count myself among that group).

But among bloggers on the right, it always seems that great pains are taken to make it clear that they are “independents” or “libertarians” – these are people who usually endorse much of the GOP agenda and reliably vote for Republicans – and they don’t identify as “Republican”. Yes, there are some like GOPBloggers who identify with the party, but that was essentially a recent development.”

Believe it or not, I think he’s right about what he said there, although his conclusion, in the next paragraph, that Democrats are “prouder of the Democratic party,” is off-base.

In my experience, the blogosphere doesn’t neccessarily match up ideologically with the rest of America as well as many people might think.

The liberal bloggers tend to be even further to the left than their counterparts in the mainstream media. When you’re talking about left-wing bloggers, a lot of times you’re talking about the sort of people who get irritated with libs like Alan Colmes & Chris Matthews because they believe they’re way too moderate. When candidates like John Kerry and Hillary Clinton pretend to be much more moderate than they actually are, the left-wing bloggers are exactly the sort of radicals they’re trying to separate themselves from in the minds of the American people.

On the other hand, in my opinion, the right side of the blogosphere is much more libertarian than the republican base. Sometimes that slips by people because a lot of these libertarians, quite understandably, focus on topics where their ideology and interests dovetail with those of their GOP readers. But on certain subjects that fire up the GOP base, like gay marriage, abortion, & illegal immigration, you’ll often see surprisingly large portions of the right side of the blogosphere either duck the issue or take positions contrary to those of most of their own readers.

As to why the right side of the blogosphere has an unusually high percentage of libertarians and libertarian leaning bloggers — I have a theory. Conservatives flocked to talk radio in reaction to the liberal dominance of the mainstream media. They felt like their message wasn’t being given a fair shake, so they found a way to get around the MSM filter.

Same deal for libertarians in the blogosphere. Libertarians tend to be very passionate about their politics and yet they’ve been marginalized in mainstream politics. So, a larger number of them than you would expect have gone into blogging where they have an opportunity to expound upon their ideas without a liberal OR conservative filter between them and the public.

So, if you’re wondering why so many right-of-center bloggers won’t call themselves republican — well, it’s because they’re not republicans, even if they agree with the GOP on their hot-button issues more often than they agree with the democrats.

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