October 28, 2003
Conservative Media Invasion
City Journal's Brian Anderson e-mailed me personally to let me know about his article on the conservative invasion of the media. Ok, it wasn't addressed to me personally unless he thinks I post by the nom de plume American Mind, but getting real, non-spam e-mails due to my weblog is a good thing.
The article is pretty good. He sees three prongs to the invastion: Cable networks' need for content and the ability to carve out niche audiences; the explosion in successful conservative books (something I should have noticed since I work in the industry); and the dominance of Right-thinkers on the Internet.
I have to take issue with the premise of the article's title. Just because the public is more expose to conservative thinking does not mean we're winning the Culture War. Since the 50s and 60s (and David Frum argues the 70s) our culture has been severely wounded. 1.5 million children are (legally) killed every year through abortion. Divorce is commonplace. Out-of-wedlock births are considered an acceptible lifestyle choice. And the sacredness of marriage is under attack. Many of these problems have gotten better in the last decade, but conservatives are a ways away from claiming victory.
Also, conservatism is changing. It's becoming more libertarian as shown by the "South Park Republicans." This group of truly neoconservatives accepts a live-and-let-live approach to homosexuals (include me on that) along with coarser language and pre-marital sex. It's an objection to "the image of conservatives as uptight squares—crusty old men or nerdy kids in blue blazers" as on college student told Anderson. Discarding conservative stereotypes is all well and good. I'm a prime example. I worry that this 21th Century conservatism has internalized much of the Left, morally harmful parts of the Culture War. I also worry that conservatives will become morally lax to the point where groping women (in Arnold Schwarzenegger's case) is looked at as a slight flaw.
"We’re Not Losing the Culture Wars Anymore"