Monday, April 25, 2016
Some interesting thoughts ...
Few people involved in what is absurdly called the “conservative media” want to shift the Overton Window to the Right or view themselves as activists. Instead, their goal is to carve out a niche, secure the loyalty of a certain market, and then push products to that market. If you are Jim Bakker (back and bigger than ever) or Glenn Beck, it’s buckets of food or packets of “survival seeds” so you can survive the End Times. If you’re some girl on Fox News, you want some subtly suggestive picture of yourself on the cover; what you are actually writing about is beyond the point. If you are Bill O’Reilly, you’re pushing a particular fantasy about “greatness” to aging white men who know the country’s best years are behind it. If you are Mark Levin, you’re offering Talmudic and convoluted knowledge about the Constitution, with Levin acting as a kind of rabbi bestowing ancient secrets on the uneducated goyim.
The point is to secure ownership of The Microphone to guarantee access to that market. The business model only works if the Narrative is predictable, the talking points are the same, and the supposed solutions are things people are used to. The recent report Erick Erickson, Mark Levin, and Glenn Beck are being paid to attack Trump isn’t some amazing revelation. It’s just business as usual.
For that reason, we may have to rethink some of our assumptions about the way the conservative movement or even the Republican Party operates. It’s tempting to say the point of the movement or the party is just to carry out the wishes of its donors. Yes, these donors want cheap labor via mass immigration, support for Israel, and a pro-corporate stance in regulatory policy. But consider the donors who blew untold millions on the campaigns of people like Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio. Are they Masters of the Universe – or simply suckers?
If 2016 has shown us anything, it’s the absurdity of pretending there’s a difference between the “Republican Establishment” and some virtuous TruConservative Movement. Ted Cruz’s campaign represents the unification of these supposedly disparate forces if indeed there ever was a difference. And the key to understanding both the GOP and the Beltway Right is recognizing both are fundamentally self-interested. Talking to either about “principles” is like talking to a cafeteria Catholic about the intricacies of ecclesial law or some centuries-old papal bull. It’s completely irrelevant to their own worldview. When a TruConservative starts talking to you about “principles,” you’re simply hearing a sales pitch.