Despite the rumors of a “liberal media,” conservative thought dominates the chattering classes these days. Cruise around your AM dial and you will likely find Sean Hannity on four stations and Rush Limbaugh on three more. You might think that would make a social conservative traditionalist such as myself happy, but you would be wrong. Rarely do the standard issue pundits reflect my views, values, or beliefs, and I know I’m not alone. To help combat this tendency towards conservative “group think,” I offer the following suggestions for finding great alternative conservative voices in the blogosphere. Click away and enjoy!
Dallas Morning News editor Rod Dreher’s book Crunchy Cons has stirred up a whirlwind of controversy among conservatives lately. It turns out that when you suggest that some people who are otherwise socially conservative might actually care about things like creating a just society, buying organic, protecting the environment, and living out the implications of their faith even when they do not fit current right-wing dogma, a certain stripe of Republicans get extremely uptight. Rod’s blog is every bit as worthwhile as his book. Rod brings his traditionalist viewpoint to topics as diverse as the Middle-East Crisis and the Mel Gibson arrest fiasco. For those of us forced to choose between the Golden Rule that our traditionalist leanings demand and an almost unbearable desire to poke ditto-head automatons in the eye, Dreher’s blog is a welcome respite from much what passes for conservative thought these days.
Townhall.com has long been the place to visit on the Internet when you want to read work by conservative columnists. When you’re done scouring the columns for wisdom, insight, or the latest way that Ann Coulter has embarrassed conservatives, be sure to check out Townhall’s massive selection of blogs. You’ll find work by well-known personalities like Hugh Hewitt and Michael Medved, but the real treasure is the hundreds of blogs maintained by the site’s visitors. If anyone thinks that conservatives are a monolithic lot that moves in lock-step, a quick look at the variety of opinion found here should cure that misperception. Of course, the quality varies, but these blogs are definitely worth a look.
The editors of the New Criterion continue their tradition of promoting conservative thought on all matters cultural for an intelligent, artsy audience. The focus of the writing here is on preserving the “Permanent Things” that used to mean so much to conservatives before the current silliness took over. My quick scan through recent posts uncovered topics as varied as Beowulf, the “gender gap,” and Karl Rove. In a move that runs counter to the current streak of “just average folks” spin coming from the Right, this blog revels in snob appeal. Don’t let that turn you away because there are great insights to be found here. Be sure to read anything by Roger Kimball-it will be worth your time.
Right Reason bills itself as “The Weblog for Philosophical Conservatism.” That does my heart good because conservatism is a movement steeped in philosophy and tradition, and frankly, “unphilosophical” conservatism leads to simplistic-indeed, sometimes monsterous-thinking. The articles here are well-reasoned and written without the shrillness and self-satisfied smugness that is prevelant today. They will encourage you to turn off talk radio and dig deep into your Russell Kirk.
Of course, these are only a few examples of the alternative conservative voices to be found on the Internet. Somewhere, maybe just one click away, is a voice that speaks to you. Enjoy the journey.