Conservatism On The Net: I

by John Hawkins | June 20, 2002 9:44 am

Conservatism On The Net: I ran across a post by Brendan O’Neil[1] about why “blogging seems to be a largely right-wing thing” and his conclusions couldn’t of been more wrong. First off, he’s totally out of step with the direction the country is moving in…

“Over the past 10 to 15 years, traditional right-wing views have become ever-more unpopular, as Third Way and consensus politics have take centre stage. The Reaganites and Thatcherites who were in the ascendant in the 1980s have found themselves out on a limb in an age where we’re all supposed to be caring, sharing, non-argumentative, environmentally-aware centre-lefties. And rather than build an effective and coherent opposition to the new political orthodoxies, some on the right seem happy to retreat into the ‘Blogosphere’, from where they can throw insults at their enemies without having to challenge them fundamentally.

If anything, the US is more Conservative than it was during the middle of the “Reagan Revolution” in the 80s. Americans strongly support the military, are in favor of the ‘War on Terrorism”, are more patriotic than any time in recent memory, love tax cuts, want tough law enforcement, and are adamantly anti-illegal immigrant. If anything, the country took two steps to the right after 9/11 because Conservatism is a ideology based in realism and Liberalism is based on pie in the sky idealism and wishful thinking that doesn’t work very well when confronted by a crisis in the real world. But back to O’Neil’s article…

“In short, I think blogging is a right-wing thing as a result of the right’s increasing isolation – and as a result of right-wingers’ fancy for short, sharp, pithy attacks on an enemy that, in fact, they don’t feel like they can take on. Are some on the right destined to lose themselves in the Blogosphere?”

Most Conservatives would love nothing better than to “take on” the mainstream press but we’re largely locked out of the arena. Right Wingers have moved to the web for the same reason they moved into talk radio in the 80s; their views are not represented by the left-leaning mainstream press. In fact, off the top of my head, Fox News[2] and the Washington Times[3] are the only beacons of Conservatism that come to mind in an ocean of leftward drifting news shows and papers in the US.

I would argue that if the mainstream press didn’t so obviously lean left in their reporting, no one would have ever heard of Rush Limbaugh[4], AM talk radio would still be dying, and there wouldn’t be a flood of Conservatives putting out websites. Just to give you a personal example, I started this website as a reaction to the incredibly biased coverage of the 2000 election. My guess is that most Conservatives who didn’t start their pages up for purely capitalistic reasons, were probably motivated by similar reactions to the mainstream press. In conclusion, Conservatives are flocking to the internet not because we fear to “challenge (the left) fundamentally”, but because it is one of the few places we can challenge the left and actually have an opportunity to be heard.

  1. Brendan O’Neil:
  2. Fox News:
  3. Washington Times:
  4. Rush Limbaugh:

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