Media vs Politics
As someone who loved Rush Limbaugh and what he did (so much so I made it my career for 10 years) this Ross Douthat piece is an important one. Has the growth of Conservative Inc been a net positive for Conservatism? Douthat seems to be arguing no. He says building loyal audiences to conservative media is not the same as building political coalitions. The popularity of Conservative Inc forced too many politicians to become beholden to those audiences at the expensive of more moderate voters, (New York Times)
“This pattern created problems that compounded one another. As Conservatism Inc. became more of a world unto itself, it sealed out bad news for conservative governance, contributing to debacles that doomed Republican presidents — Iraq for George W. Bush, Covid for Donald Trump. These debacles helped make conservatism less popular, closer to a 45 percent than a 55 percent proposition in presidential races, a blocking coalition but not a governing one. And this in turn made the right’s passionate core feel more culturally besieged, more desperate for “safe spaces” where liberal perfidy was taken for granted and the most important reasons for conservative defeats were never entertained.”
The left is having the same problem with their institutions like, ironically, the New York Times. They’ve changed headlines and fired workers because of their rabid readers. Which every party figures out they should be beholden to voters and not media will start winning elections by large margins.