Today the media’s the problem, last week it was low information voters; But maybe Conservatism is the real problem

January 25, 2013

This post by Ace ticked up on Memeorandum. There are some additional valuable insights via Legal Insurrection. I don’t disagree with Ace at all and said precisely the same thing via Twitter weeks ago. Along with mostly being of the same establishment class, the media has fallen so in love with the concept of the nation’s first black president, for the most part, they’ve dropped all pretense of being objective.

No doubt they’d love to be just as in love with the nation’s first female president in the person of Hillary Clinton, or someone else suitable, next. A Sarah Palin type wouldn’t do, as it isn’t only about gender. But it’s a far more complex issue and Ace is only speaking to one problem for the Right and perhaps not even the most important one. Our biggest problem right now may be us.

Ace: It’s important.

I already mentioned the media’s Hillary Tributes, but there’s even more of it.

And I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m truly alarmed about it: What we are witnessing is the full and seamless fusion of media power with government power.

Last month, many on the Right were saying the low information voter was the problem. Okay, so now we’re shifting back to saying it’s the media. But those two memes actually contradict one another. After all, if low information voters keep electing these liberal politicians, it can’t really be the fault of a media tasked with informing them, now can it?

Anne Sorock goes a bit more deeply into the problem at LI, which is why I linked her post, as well. But even that doesn’t go deep enough and if we truly want to be serious, we need to understand that we are talking about several problems. The one we can actually do something about today rarely gets discussed out here and that’s more a discussion on branding, than it is politics. Conservatism didn’t dominate for a decade under Reagan because the Right suddenly got that era’s low information voters to pay attention to the details of conservative policy. It won because Reagan created a positive, optimistic brand at a time when America wanted and needed something to feel good about itself and they bought it. It really was that simple when you think about it. It will also be critical to turning things around quickly if that’s one’s immediate concern – developing a good brand to sell to a large number of people who don’t really pay close attention to politics. In that sense, our position isn’t nearly as precarious as it might seem. So when I say relax a bit, I say it because we can afford it and still win again in a reasonable period of time.

First, correctly identify the problem, as Ace has. It takes some reframing in our own minds, I believe, to grasp the idea that it is simply a political candidate or policy we are fighting. We must destroy the food chain that is rotting our country, the primary vehicles of which are the media and the government-run schools.

Second, I sometimes fear that we focus too much on the large national news outlets, when perhaps more Americans, more of the persuadable middle, tune in to their local nightly news broadcast than the politics-laden super media networks like Fox. Treat your local news anchors like your congressman.

As far as the branding issue, good luck trying to sell the multitudes on a brand increasingly made up of a bunch of whiners, complainers and hang-wringers, many of them seemingly given over to anger today. Yeah, like that’s going to happen. If anything, the Right spends more time today shooting itself in the foot by giving the culture and broader media exactly the ammunition it needs to make the Right look intolerant, unhinged, fringe and lacking in alternative solutions, than it spends its times looking like something people may want to sign on to.

Ace writes:


 I keep banging this drum but honestly, some patriotic billionaires do have to band together to purchase or build a media outlet. The outlet would be founded upon a simple premise: that it is dangerous and ultimately fatal for democracy for media power to fuse with government power, that the adversarial press is vital.

Really? To what end? To have impact, it would need to be large and national in scope. So, who are you going to hire to work there? Eventually, you’ll end up with many of the same journalism majors who are the product of the same liberal education structure that produced the current bunch. So how much would it really change anything? In the end, not much, I’d imagine.

Some of these problems, if not most, are cultural and long-term and require long-term solutions. You want to make a difference there? Raise your children properly, get them a good education sans liberal indoctrination and send them off into the world to make a difference. If enough conservatives did that today – and many are doing it – it might begin to have an impact in a decade, or two. Pushing home schooling, or alternative education, taking on the teachers unions – those are all activities designed to do that very thing.

Get involved in one of those areas and get serious if that’s your thing. A movement has to be vast to succeed, not narrow. And the current movement is far more vast than we often stop to appreciate. Unfortunately, many areas don’t get the attention they deserve in the daily discourse out here.

Like it or not, it’s precisely those kinds of efforts required to turn things around. And it can’t and won’t happen instantly, or even in many of our lifetimes. The contemporary Left has been at it aggressively since the Sixties and, in some ways, long before, in point of fact.

In my opinion, the best thing the current – and now largely online – Right could do today is to start to grow up. It needs to realize that not every new talking point is the be all and end all of the problem, that the reason we think many media people are biased is because they think differently than we do, not because they hate us – and much of that results from our having been losing the culture war for so many years. They are not actually evil, or traitors to America, for God’s sake.

Stop being so damned negative, always demonizing everyone and everything that doesn’t work the way you want it to. Stop wailing at the top of your lungs at every perceived slight, or wrong. That is not a recipe for attracting people, or growing a movement. It’s a recipe for putting people off and continuing to shrink a movement I see as in at least some trouble from shrinkage, already.

If we want to begin to win national elections again in a reasonably short amount of time, we are going to have to begin to put forth a positive conservative image, not one of a movement that dwells on the most negative of everything everyday, as so many would be conservatives seem to be doing these days. No one wants to join a group of people intent on being perpetually pissed off about whatever they can dig out of the headlines on a given day.

That’s enough rambling for now.  I’m probably only making half the sense I’d like to, as I’m still fairly medicated and not back in form, yet. But I do hope to be soon. And I hope to continue this conversation in days and years to come, as I have enjoyed it in days and years past. But for God’s sake, people, relax, … take a breath. Some of our challenges must be met with efforts over decades, some of our pitfalls are indeed internal – and this great nation with the miraculous political system that allows it to heal or correct itself  isn’t going away tomorrow.

Let’s try to stop pretending that it is everyday, or with every new blog post, gather our thoughts and forces, consult the better angels of our nature and come up with good answers and solutions over the time required to do it. In short, a large part of today’s conservative movement looks like it needs to grow up all over again. And it can. But that too will take some time. So chillax.

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  1. Ragspierre says:

    Dan, I TOTALLY disagree.

    The Mushroom Media and the low information voter are linked in obvious ways.

    I’m surprised you don’t see that.

    OUR job is education, including countering the LIES of the Mushroom Media, which is just an organ of the Obamic Collective.

  2. Rob Miller says:

    I agree with much of the above…however, there’s much more that could be done.

    It’s time to borrow a few tricks from the opposition.

  3. John_Frank says:

    A couple of thoughts:

    – It was Sarah Palin who coined the phrase “Lame Stream Media.”

    Do not underestimate her star power. The LSM can not resist; and she understands their “game.”

    – Advertisers …. people need to let the advertisers know that we will no longer buy their products or services, if they continue to support media outlets that are no better than Pravda.

  4. jfxgillis says:


    “In my opinion, the best thing the current – and now largely online – Right could do today is to start to grow up. It needs to realize that not every new talking point is the be all and end all of the problem, that the reason we think many media people are biased is because they think differently than we do, not because they hate us – and much of that results from our having been losing the culture war for so many years. They are not actually evil, or traitors to America, for God’s sake.”

    Hmmmm. Between you and Erik the RedState I’m beginning to worry that perhaps a tiny segment of the Right might be getting a glimmer of the way back to power.

  5. Ragspierre says:

    “…the reason we think many media people are biased is because they think differently than we do…”

    This is wrong on several levels:

    1. they ARE OBJECTIVELY biased,

    2. “they think differently” is a bald statement that takes us nowhere,

    3. Nazis, the Imperial Japanese, Soviets, and jihadis “think (or thought) differently”.

    “…not because they hate us – and much of that results from our having been losing the culture war for so many years.”

    This is circular. Many Collectivists DO hate us. They have been waging a cultural war to promote their ends, which are avowedly NOT consistent with American values. The Frankfurt School existed. Cloward-Piven were/are real people, as was Alinsky, as is Ayers, as are the Obami.

    “They are not actually evil, or traitors to America, for God’s sake.”

    This is ambiguous. Who are you referring to here? Rank and file Deemocrat voters? There is an argument you are correct WRT to them. Beyond that, I think you are simply wrong.

    You seem to be saying that Breitbart had it all wrong, which I don’t believe you can justify.

    Not your clearest thinking, Dan.

  6. Ragspierre says:

    This was a post by a coward who sock-puppets, which is itself a lie.

  7. Nick says:

    Dan’s brilliant suggestion is appeasement and caving? No wonder the GOP establishment hired him as a a consultant. He ain’t Andrew Breitbart.

  8. Steve says:

    Today’s Global Warming Updates are not for the faint of heart (pun intended)…

  9. […] There’s a lot wrong, very wrong with that full post, but that’s not my point here.  Dan Riehl, who I consider a friend of this blog, made a similar point in a less ascerbic post responding to some of Ace’s and Anne’s comments about the media: […]

  10. vech says:

    I would suggest that John Boehner is showing the maturity and grownup attitude you suggest. How’s that been working out. He’s the happy warrior who’s getting eaten alive. Do you think the Democrats respect him as much as we do? Gee, why don’t we all act like John?

  11. Xiaoding says:

    There is simply a generation of conservatives, who must die off, before progress can be made.

    The intelectual war wil not be won by morons who read books by, and only by, talk show hosts.

    While both parties are butt-glued to the past, conservatives are cast in iron. They simply WILL NOT LEARN.

    Look how many drank the cool-aid for Romney…no one, NO ONE, who said the Romey would win, should be speaking now. Six months, SILENCE. I’m talking to you, Rush!!

    The way the GOP played the conservatives, was genius! Hook, line, and sinker, does not begin to describe it!

    At this point, I have no idea, what use conservatives could be. Perhaps they can stock up on guns and ammo, simple task, easy to remember. Otherwise, they are useless.

  12. David R. Graham says:

    Fine post, I strongly concur and resolve to endeavor as counseled. And I am very happy you are returning to health! Be strong and happy!

  13. Rich Fader says:

    America’s in a bad place and headed toward a worse one before it gets better, sooner rather than later. Not succumbing to despair given that reality is a good thing. But it is a reality, and there’s an upper limit to how much happy you can realistically put into that warring before it starts looking like “Breaking Bad News with Baby Animals”.

  14. Sanity says:

    There are two inextricably-linked phenomena dooming American “conservativatiam”: (1) It’s “ideas” are repugnant; and (2) it’s proponents are assholes. People. Don’t. Like. You. The end. 🙂

    • Ragspierre says:

      UnSanity’s post should stand as evidence of how out of gas the Collective really is.

      Be encouraged!

      • Sanity says:

        No, our wingnuts isn’t learning. Exhibit A.

        • Ragspierre says:

          Learning what…?

          How to lie collectively?

          Conservatives hate that. You depend on it.

          cf your lie about the New Mexico bill criminalizing the use of abortion to destroy evidence of rape or incest.

          Poor, stupid, moronic, hate-twisted Collectivist punk.

        • Ragspierre says:

          That great big revenue boost derived from “taxing the rich” just days ago…

          yep. Gone already.

          We have a spending problem. No revenue problem.

          • Sanity says:

            Ah yes, if you’re too dishonest / stupid to believe that Sandy relief was ever going to be offset by anything. Also if you’re too stupid or dishonest to believe that $50 billion wont be saved next year, and the year after, and the year after, and …

            And yes, we all know that you are so stupid / dishonest.

            That was a fun, non-primary-source link, yet again, Clown. Funny, you’re too lazy to even go back to the Moonie Times for your “point.” Reading the whining of your fellow flab-bags was a pretty amusing lunch time perk though!

            Do you feel like a winner yet, princess?

        • Ragspierre says:

          I will rest my case on your UnSanity.


    • Rich Fader says:

      If those are the standards, I marvel that the Democrats move from strength to strength.

  15. […] Dan Reihl has a long, rambling post that needs editing, but that hits the nail on the head as far as conservatism is concerned. Here are some excerpts: […]

  16. Ragspierre says:

    If we had a working media, they would be having a laugh-riot over…

    Barrackah “Skeeter” Obama’s amazingly gratuitous lie!

  17. […] disagree as well with Dan Riehl’s assessment that the left doesn’t hate us, and that conservatives need to grow up, because […]

  18. […] disagree as well with Dan Riehl’s assessment that the left doesn’t hate us, and that conservatives need to grow up, because […]