Recent actions by Big Tech and others on the Left to shut down conservative voices are just the latest salvos in America’s intensifying culture war. When Twitter permanently suspended the accounts of President Donald Trump and others recently, it was a mere skirmish in that larger conflict. But when Google and Amazon moved to de-platform Parler this past weekend, essentially removing the entire infrastructure with which Parler operates, for the unforgivable transgression of allowing free speech, it was the most militant action yet. Make no mistake: our current culture war (which is spilling over into politics, not the other way around) is just getting started, because until recently only one side has recognized the confrontation even exists. We’re in a culture war that’s just beginning to heat up, and we should act accordingly. And while our opponents may have a massive head start on us, that gap is ripe with opportunity for conservative businesses to fill the subsequent voids.
The Left and their media often reject the use of terms such as “war, “ or “battle,” or “fight,” in such circumstances, accusing opponents of provoking violence – while simultaneously applauding actual violence from their own side as they label it “mostly peaceful” – therefore, a clarification: violence, of any sort regarding political debate is reprehensible and unacceptable. However, describing our current cultural differences is ill-served with other terminology. The English language is limited, like every other language, so we must use what terms are available. Victors in our culture war won’t be determined by the overthrow of a regime or by territory that is ceded, but rather by how people think. Winners in various battles won’t be judged by the number of body bags or who seizes the high ground of the battlefield, but by shifts in public opinion and who wins future elections.
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A primary difference between conservatives and leftists in our current culture has been the actions that have been taken. Those on the Left won’t hesitate to call for a boycott of Goya Foods when they learn their CEO is a Trump-supporter, but conservatives tended to shrug their shoulders when Starbucks allowed their employees to wear Black Lives Matter gear. Leftists will try to destroy a local candy store if the owner attends a Trump rally, whereas we on the Right often continue to buy Nike gear even as they promote and worship anti-American knuckleheads like Colin Kaepernick. But times are changing, and as those of us on the Right regain our footing in this societal conflict, there will undoubtedly be opportunities for conservative entrepreneurs to capitalize upon.
Media, the mass distribution of information, represents the hot spot of the current tussle. As has been well-documented, the legacy media outlets have been overwhelmingly leftist in nature for years, and during the recent election cycle they stopped pretending to be otherwise. They lifted their skirts. While conservative or moderate broadcasters and publishers such as The Wall Street Journal and Fox News have thrived financially in recent years as a result of that bias, their overall reach is still dwarfed by the collective readership and viewership of their leftwing competitors. Ratings for Fox News, for instance, will surpass those of CNN and MSNBC combined occasionally. But if we include the ratings of NBC, CBS and ABC – who are comparable in their leftism to CNN and MSNBC, but better at hiding it – Fox News’ reach is minimal. The same can be said of the Wall Street Journal and similar conservative/moderate newspapers. But we are consequently seeing the emergence of alternative sources of information.
Newsmax, a news channel often depicted as a conservative competitor to Fox News, has seen their ratings continue to increase since a series of Fox News missteps in the fall, including jumping the gun on calling Arizona for Joe Biden on election night, and a dismal performance by Fox moderator Chris Wallace during the first 2020 presidential debate. But Fox News’ viewership has not suffered significantly as a result, and in spite of a slow start to 2021, they “finished 2020 with record ratings.” Those Newsmax viewers aren’t coming from Fox News, most of them are coming from the legacy media outlets. The same can be said for traditional publishers. The Wall Street Journal saw a record number of subscriptions last year, in spite of a steady plunge in overall newspaper circulation nationwide. Any conservative group considering jumping into either arena has market share there for the taking; all they need to do is throw their hat in the ring.
The key battleground for the dissemination of news and opinion, however, isn’t with the broadcast networks or paper-&-ink newspapers, it’s online. Many of those same legacy media outlets have successfully launched websites as sales of the newspapers themselves have plummeted. But upstart conservative options are popping up everywhere, and promise to give those legacy sites a run for their money. Publications such as The Daily Wire, The Blaze, and The Federalist have gained traction, and recent events will only boost their prospects. Smaller outlets such as The Blue State Conservative and The Liberty Loft are succeeding in establishing themselves as well, and we should expect to see similar void-fillers emerge moving forward.
When Google and Apple de-platformed Parler, it was clearly devastating to the upstart social media site. But Google and Apple aren’t the only such companies capable of providing those functions and services. Similarly, when Amazon booted Parler off of their servers, it was a kick in the crotch as their site has been unavailable for days. But Amazon isn’t the only company capable of establishing a server farm. Google, Apple and Amazon are big players, and have bullied Parler this week, but they’re not invincible. Their actions have created an opening, and any venture capitalists with funds sitting on the sidelines should take note.
It’s a shame that American culture is heading in the direction that it is, but the quicker conservatives recognize that reality, the better chance we have of staving off the leftists’ onslaught. Is it a good thing for Americans to decide which newspapers to read or television channels to watch based on political ideology? Of course not, but that’s what we must do if we want to resist indoctrination and learn the truth.
Unfortunately, we may be headed in a similar direction not just with sources of news, but with virtually every product or service we buy, and investors who consider themselves conservative or moderate should pay attention. Leftists will go out of their way to buy their ice cream from Ben and Jerry’s where they have the option to buy the Bernie Sanders-inspired “Bernie’s Yearnings,” so consider: what if there was a conservative ice cream alternative? What if that alternative offered “Limbaugh Lemon” or “Kid Rock Rocky Road” as a flavor, and what if that vendor marketed themselves with conservatives in mind? Levi Strauss, the jeans company, doesn’t shy away from their leftward leanings, lecturing consumers about “structural racism,” whatever that is. What if a competitor emerged that was unabashedly conservative and marketed themselves in that way?
Conservative consumers are increasingly recognizing the threat of deep-pocketed and combative leftist oligarchs. Many left-leaning companies have been targeting liberal consumers for years, while right-leaning companies seem to view such strategies as unseemly. They shouldn’t. The Left took off the gloves years ago, and has been pummeling the Right with bare-knuckles ever since. Politically conservative and moderate consumers have recognized the tactic but have nonetheless largely chosen to ignore it. It’s time for the Right to respond and stop hiding from it. If we’re going to be a divided country, and if we’re going to be forced into a culture war, we had better take that challenge head on and stop financing our opponents by using their software and search engines, eating their ice cream and buying their jeans. Emerge from the closet, proudly admit your conservatism, and market yourselves as such. Conservative consumers have few alternatives in many aspects of life. Fill that void and offer some.