As The Blue State Conservative continues to grow, I keep getting asked what influences my writing. It’s no secret that we live in a world where oversaturation of news stories essentially short circuits our brains, and between working a real job, maintaining a site, and writing content, the question is how do I stay on top of what’s happening?
Like many readers, I visit aggregate sites to find quick headlines from across the web. It works, but the problem with conservative aggregates is that sometimes I don’t want to scroll through a lot of ads and articles that don’t pique my interest. If I read one or two articles from an entire landing page, that’s not worth my time to find them. Now, no site or set up is perfect, but there are a few high-quality productions that rarely, if ever, disappoint, and I wanted to highlight them here. They also each offer a different format for consumption. Not by accident, I have chosen one site for its written content, a second for its visual media production, and a third for its podcasts production.
They were unsolicited and I am not being compensated in any way, unless one considers better awareness among the entire conservative movement as compensation. One of the biggest complaints I have among conservatives is that we have the right ideas, but most often we simply don’t articulate them correctly or effectively. Donald Trump, for all he did, not least of which was oozing patriotism wherever he went, struggled with conveying our message beyond his most ardent supporters. In order to win the larger cultural war, if indeed it can be won, conservatives of all stripes need to be adept at influencing and changing minds. I believe a steady diet of the following three sites – American Thinker, Louder With Crowder, and The Daily Wire – could accomplish just that.
This is my go-to site for each morning’s cup of coffee. Consummately-reasoned articles and pithy blog posts touch upon many important ideas of the day from a bevy of seemingly endless contributors. There is a small cadre of editors that contribute daily posts, but what makes American Thinker stand out is their open invitation to all laypersons to submit an article. Given that there is too much for a single person to know, this model allows for doctors to write in about Covid, lawyers to write in about Chauvin, and just regular folks with a smart opinion on a host of subjects and knack for writing cogently to let the rest of us know about it.
With upwards of seven long-form articles and ten shorter blogs each day, there is no shortage of content to peruse and read. And, it’s all powerful stuff. One of the more compelling features of the author-submission format is that, aside from the editorial staff, no one is compensated for their pieces. The primary, if not singular, goal of the authors is to open eyes and change minds. Contrast that with other (great) sites, who produce important content but also have deadlines and requirements. Everything on American Thinker is up there because someone wanted to say it and took the time to say it.
My next go-to site takes on the opposite approach of American Thinker’s subdued tone of matter-of-fact argumentation. Note, this is not a knock on either. Stephen Crowder is the rare conservative who combines historical knowledge of issues, sharp wit for retorts, grounding in constitutional and moral rights, ability to deal in documented facts, and charisma for entertainment purposes.
The website itself produces good enough content, but the reason I am adding the site is mainly for Crowder’s four-times-a-week YouTube live show. I am not alone; Crowder can boast of the largest independent news channels on the platform with over five million subscribers and whose daily show is seen by nearly one million viewers. It’s informative, it’s funny, and it’s worth checking out.
In addition to regular live streams, he has also produced myriad segments entitled “Change My Mind” in which he attempts to have leftists defend their viewpoints and try to persuade Crowder from his own opinions grounded in the Constitution, Christian morality, and common sense. (Spoiler: They never do). While entertaining, these videos are just as powerful because Crowder shows us how we can civilly disarm leftists in our own conversations with rebuttals that make sense and take the moral high ground.
There are a lot of competitors in the space inhabited by The Daily Wire. The Blaze most comes to mind on account of its hard news, opinion pieces, and media productions for podcasts and YouTube. Nothing against The Blaze, but I am putting The Daily Wire on here for both its breadth of these elements as well as abundance of heavy hitters in the conservative sphere.
For starters, The Daily Wire partnered with PragerU, one of the most influential and intelligent production companies in the country. They receive billions of views each year. Not only that, they were able to bring the inimitable Candace Owens to their team for a live television show broadcast. Aside from the standard news and opinion, they continue to roll out new formats like the podcast Morning Wire and Ben Shapiro’s excellent “Debunked” series. As if that were not enough, they even produced a full-length feature film and have since partnered with ex-Disney star Gina Carrano to produce another.
However, the reason I am most often interacting with content from The Daily Wire is its team of podcast hosts. Although Shapiro’s name recognition and eponymous show is what initially pulled me into the DW orbit, it is hosts Michael Knowles and Matt Walsh that keep me tethered there. There simply isn’t enough time in the day to absorb everything they do. Knowles is flat-out brilliant and should have been the permanent replacement for the late Rush Limbaugh (he filled in briefly after the latter’s passing). Walsh is one of a kind with his dry humor and morally-grounded, thoughtful commentary, while his trolling of AOC and the Loudoun County School Board are simply par excellence.