The Dartmouth Observer

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Saturday, November 08, 2003
Are conservatives winning the culture wars?

Yes, according to the City Journal's Brian Anderson in this piece, in which he argues that "[t]he Left's near monopoly over the institutions of opinion and information — which long allowed liberal opinion makers to sweep aside ideas and beliefs they disagreed with, as if they were beneath argument — is skidding to a startlingly swift halt." The factors he lists include Fox News, South Park, the Internet (Sullivan, Drudge, Erin O'Connor, Arts & Letters Daily, Frontpage Magazine, and NRO all get mentioned in the same breath), and conservative book publishers. As a result of these developments, young people no longer consider conservatives "uptight squares." South Park Republicans is what Andrew Sullivan calls them.

Anderson's argument is premised on the first eleven words of his piece, which I quoted above. Is he constructing a straw man here? Has there been, up until only recently, a "near monopoly" of opinion and information by the Left? Conservatives make this assumption all the time, but the Left would say just the opposite: they'd argue that Reagan, the end of the Cold War, and 9/11 have all contributed to a conservative recrudescence in American culture.