Yes, this is a National Review article from this year, not 1984 or 1994.
“Don’t worry! The tide is turning! Conservative ideas are going mainstream!!”
We’ve been hearing that since the movie PCU came out.
Nick DiPaolo has been hearing that since he was voted “Best Young Comic”… 20 years ago.
The real problem isn’t the practical challenge of turning serious books into bestsellers. The real problem is that we may have reached the limit of what facts and reasoned arguments can do. The real problem is that the whole conservative nonfiction enterprise has peaked and reached its limit of effectiveness.
The original counterculture — that is, before it was hijacked and turned into a vehicle for progressive politics — was actually libertarian in spirit, and what made it work was its antic humor and its willingness to flout the sacred cows of the conservative establishment. From Mad magazine to George Carlin, no traditional object of piety went unscathed. Nothing like that has been seen in this country for decades, precisely because the culture is now dominated by sanctimonious liberals who have lost the capacity to laugh at themselves.
I know what Andrew Breitbart would say if he were here: Stop giving money to Karl Rove to spend on useless political ads. Instead, you should support the conservative literary wing, which has been producing great stuff against tremendous odds and urgently needs your help.
The question is, What are you personally going to do about it? Every conservative has a responsibility to support the rising counterculture. Buy their books and records. Share their videos with your friends. Join the crew at Liberty Island and support our authors with tip-jar contributions and donations to our crowd-funding efforts. Or become a creator yourself — write a story, record a song, make a video.
As a friend of mine once put it: Resist! Surrender is futile.
I will support those efforts only if they are worthwhile. I won’t buy crappy books or movies for the sake of “the cause.” I leave that sort of corny hivemind behavior to creatively bankrupt Official Christians.
And AGAIN: None of these efforts matter unless non-liberals ALSO control the means of distribution and promotion, i.e. social media and file sharing.
With all these books to read and admire, why does Adam Bellow continue to believe that conservative writers are a persecuted minority? The reason may have something to do with the description of the kind of work he seeks at his Liberty Island website: “At Liberty Island, good still triumphs over evil, hope still overcomes despair, and America is still a noble experiment and a beacon to the rest of the world.” The problem is not that these are conservative ideas, but that they are simpleminded ideological dogmas, and so by their very nature hostile to literature, which lives or dies by its sense of reality. (…)
But then, literature does not seem to be the driving impulse behind Bellow’s manifesto. What he wants is not good books, but political victory, and revenge—revenge against the smug liberals who so haunt the right-wing imagination.