If there is a more misused phrase in politics than “culture war,” I am not entirely sure what it is.
Apparently, we as conservatives are “culture warriors,” though it seems very weird because the very nature of conservativism is the preservation of traditional ideas like those at the heart of the founding of our country and the Constitution, as well as the cultural norms that were once so prevalent. Logically speaking, the “culture warriors” are the ones who are always seeking to change that traditional culture into something more progressive.
But progressivism at its heart is based on the idea of change, and modern American progressivism is always at odds with itself because the change is based on the idea that we must have a victim class in order to appease them and not offend them. The result is a constant struggle between progressive groups vying for influence over the victim class.
Because of this, you have activist groups, mega-corporations and brands, and influencers who are forever trying to one-up each other in playing the game of identity politics. And each time it looks more and more ridiculous.
With the consolidation of progressive identity politics in just about every major facet of American culture, there is very little space at these outlets for individual conservative voices, much less groups of them. When the left has the ability to organize advertiser protests and the media can put the squeeze on outlets through negative coverage and “fact-checks,” it sometimes makes it impossible to see how conservatism can really survive culturally.
But we have proven here that it can be done and done successfully. Conservatives of all stripes are finding platforms and getting their voices out there. And the left has successfully driven parents and key stakeholders in the electorate to question their voting positions. The time has never been riper for conservative voices to appeal to those voters and give them something new, yet familiar and comforting.
We aren’t as shut out of cultural topics as we used to feel we were. Here at RedState, we have regular sports writing, a cartoonist, multiple folks capable and willing to talk about the arts and entertainment, and other cultural areas of interest that we simply weren’t seeing any interest in from our readers. But as someone who sees our site’s traffic and watches the social media interactions on a daily basis, the data clearly shows there is an audience out there looking for these things from sources they like and trust. And they absolutely don’t trust the mainstream and legacy outlets to cover them anymore.
You don’t have to follow the old models. The cable networks don’t hold near the sway they used to. As Brandon said yesterday, that’s why they fight so hard against us. Social media does not truly represent the voting populace the way they think they do. Sports networks are bleeding viewership as their anchors go woke in favor of just covering the teams. Conservative outlets have picked up on this, and our voices have figured out how to overcome the de facto blackout on their opinions in the digital age. They have learned how to overcome the censorship they have become otherwise used to.
This can be done in a few different ways. The first can be to try and find a big-money donor like the leftish organizations have. The problem is that many of those donors on the right are more interested in return on investment than agenda-setting.
The second way this can be done is through individual platforms like Substack, which thus far have pledged to allow all voices on their platforms and to avoid censoring. There are several great writers on that platform already (also, me), and the numbers are growing. However, one writer typically needs to make money, and the best content is hidden behind paywalls, and you have to pay a solid chunk of money to a lot of those individual paywalls in order to get quality content from multiple perspectives.
The third way is to do what we’ve begun doing here at RedState. We have a subscription model that puts exclusive content that you can’t find anywhere else behind a paywall, but you don’t have to pay separate fees to read my VIP columns and Brandon Morse’s. You can pay for one membership and read it all.
And by “all,” I really mean “all.” We have a cartoonist. We have sports reporting. We have reviews of cultural moments like TV shows and movies. We are mostly politics, but we don’t shy away from news from all corners, because you are as tired of the mainstream covering them through a biased perspective as we are.
So, in signing up to become a VIP member here (and using the promo code “2022” to get 40% off), you are getting all of that great coverage. You’re getting all of that diversity in perspective. And you are supporting the journalism and voices that matter to you.
Sources: RedState: How to Win the Culture War