Life is short, said Hippocrates, but art is long. There is a practical corollary to that great truth: elections are won and lost in the politics of the moment, but it’s the culture that makes the nation.
In the aftermath of President Obama’s victory, conservative political thinkers will have to ask themselves some hard questions. How much of our defeat was due to strategy and how much to structure? How can we reach out to struggling workers without sacrificing our commitment to free enterprise and individual liberty? How can we speak to single women without losing voters committed to family values and the lives of the unborn? How can we welcome the children of illegal immigrants without compromising our belief in the rule of law?
The smartest political writers in the country, all of whom are conservative, will now be addressing those questions. I’m an artist; I play the long game.
To win that game, to create an electorate more deeply committed to true liberty and resistant to the sort of cultural scare tactics the president’s campaign team used so effectively, there are three areas to which conservatives need to commit intellectual and financial resources—three areas that our intelligentsia and funders, in their impractical practicality, too often ignore.
The mainstream news media. Major news outlets, like ABC, NBC, CBS, and the still influential New York Times have now become so ideologically corrupt that they are engaging in the sort of Nixonian cover-ups they once prided themselves on exposing. Their studied creation of non-scandal scandals and non-gaffe gaffes on the right and their active suppression of such true scandals as Fast and Furious and Benghazi on the left amount to journalistic malpractice on behalf of the state. The late Andrew Breitbart understood the depth and extent of the problem better than the cooler establishment heads who wrinkled their noses at him. He declared a guerrilla war on the media in the name of truth.