This past Friday, Andrew Breitbart, a leader in online conservative media, appeared on “Real Time with Bill Maher”. As anyone who has watched 5 minutes of the show knows, it’s not exactly a welcome place for conservatives. I watched the first 3 or 4 minutes on YouTube and had to turn it off in disgust from how Maher and his liberal guest were treating Mr. Breitbart (not that I was shocked or suprised by that).
Many people questioned Mr. Breitbart on why he would willingly appear on a show that has a unblemished track record of being hostile to conservatives and advised him to decline the invitation. Today in the Washington Times, Mr. Breitbart explains why he didn’t heed the advice he recieved.
Since the salad days of ABC’s “Politically Incorrect,” which minted countless right-wing pundits and best-selling authors, conservatives have rightly assessed the HBO version of the Maher show as R-rated and shockingly hostile to their worldview. So most opt out.
I totally see why. But I think that’s exactly the wrong strategy.
The problem with the withdrawal approach is that it cedes the popular culture debate to the other side. We figure talk radio, a certain cable news network and some independent Internet venues will allow for us to get our ideas out to the masses. Well, those few outlets are greatly outnumbered. They are also isolated and targeted for destruction by the activist left. The sitting president (using taxpayer money) is now leading the charge.
In my neighborhood at least, this strategy of avoiding engagement with the other side isn’t working out so well.
I happen to agree 100% with Mr. Breitbart’s analysis here. Currently in this country, the default political worldview is that of liberals. Conservatives and conservative-leaning media sources (FoxNews, talk radio, etc.) are labeled as racist, bigoted, homophobic, facist, and so on and so forth. If you’ve ever talked to someone about Rush Limbaugh who’s never tuned in to his show, you know what I’m talking about.
My fiance was one of these people. Not that she was a big left-wing liberal (she wasn’t very politically aware, period), but she had always had this image of Rush of being angry, racist, and hostile to any callers who disagreed with his opinions. Don’t ask me how I did it, because I don’t remember, but I was able to get her to start listening to some of Rush’s show, and she was literally shocked. She said to me “he is not at all what I thought”. She now enjoys Rush’s show, his humor, and his overall personality and demeanor. She says “he’s got this really pleasant tone and voice, and once you understand his sense of humor, his show is really entertaining”.
I think a lot of people who go out and vote are “default Democrats”. They are the people who will always claim “I don’t really like politics”, yet are compelled to vote (and rightfully so) out of a sense of duty…and because Matt Damon, MTV, E!, P. Diddy, or whoever is telling them they should. They don’t follow the issues, heck, as John Ziegler and countless polls have pointed out, most people don’t even know something as simple as which party is in the majority in the House or Senate. The pop culture in this country is decidedly liberal, and if conservativism is to make a comeback in government, part of the resurgance is going to have to start by combatting this. But how to go about it?
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