Q&A Friday #37: Is Bill O’Reilly Conservative?

Question: “I have been wondering something for some time now. I see Sean Hannity mentioned from time to time and of course Rush is a constant fixture as well as a few others. Now I have never, and granted I can’t always get to this site because of deployments and whatnot, heard Bill O’Reilly mentioned. Ordinarily I wouldn’t even have noticed, after all there are plenty of guys that don’t get mentioned but once a while back when I mentioned him I was told that he is not a conservative. Did I miss something? Bill is all about personal responsibility which, unless I am way off here, is one of the cornerstones of Conservatism.” — Wiederkb

Answer: O’Reilly’s views seem to be a uniquely weird mixture of social conservatism and populism. I say “weird” because I don’t know of anyone else who seems to match up extremely well ideologically with O’Reilly.

Just to give you an example of what I mean, here are some of his views as listed by Wikipedia (which is, be forewarned, not always reliable):

Among other things, O’Reilly supports a windfall profits tax, a higher gas tax on some vehicles, he opposes capital punishment, he opposes spanking, he favors the decriminalization of marijuana, thinks humans are causing global warming.

CBS also notes that:

O’Reilly says he’s pro gun control, against the death penalty, and supports civil unions, not just for homosexuals, but “for everybody.”

He says he’s for gay adoptions as a last resort: “I’d rather have nice, responsible gay home than the system for kids. What else?”

And about the environment? “Government’s gotta be proactive on environment,” says O’Reilly. “Global warming is here. All these idiots that run around and say it isn’t here. That’s ridiculous.”

I’m not trying to say he’s a liberal or anything, he’s just doesn’t have mainstream conservative views on a lot of issues, even if his show mainly appeals to conservatives.

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