Politics & Media
Mar 13, 2009, 08:57AM

Radio Nowhere

Convervatism doesn't just need to move past Rush Limbaugh—it needs to move past radio all together.

Good points:

Much as their blind loyalty discredited the Right, perhaps the worst effect of Limbaugh et al. has been their draining away of political energy from what might have been a much more worthwhile project: the fostering of a middlebrow conservatism. There is nothing wrong with lowbrow conservatism. It’s energizing and fun. What’s wrong is the impression fixed in the minds of too many Americans that conservatism is always lowbrow, an impression our enemies gleefully reinforce when the opportunity arises. Thus a liberal like E.J. Dionne can write, “The cause of Edmund Burke, Leo Strauss, Robert Nisbet and William F. Buckley Jr. is now in the hands of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity. … Reason has been overwhelmed by propaganda, ideas by slogans.” Talk radio has contributed mightily to this development.

  • Yes, good points, and Derbyshire has always been a bit of an iconoclast. But find me a Republican, who no matter what he thinks of Limbaugh now, doesn't remember his critical role in the '94 GOP landslide, which forced Bill Clinton to the center.

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  • Conservatism became fixed in the minds of Americans as lowbrow when the Republicans launched the southern strategy.

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