Being a conservative is traditionally a fairly solitary thing. We tend to have higher priorities in our lives than politics.

With that in mind – know what I miss the. most from blogging’s brief, ephemeral “Glory Days?”
The social life. It’s a little ironic that “social media” cut the heart out of the actual social life that built up around blogging.

And by “social life”, I don’t mean *just* the MOB parties – although those were pretty epic, in their heyday. And not the crowd of really awesome people I met via blogging, back then – some of whom are still the core of my social circle, 17 years later.

What I – and society, I think, misses today – was the hard edge to that little home-made social network we built back then.

Back then, when somebody – a reporter or columnist, a politician, a bureaucrat – said or did something ignorant, harmful, defamatory or stupid, the answer would be a “crowdsourced” response from several, maybe dozens, of people who had some knowledge of the issue, directing the energy of dozens, sometimes hundreds, occasionally many more, to respond in a way that even the high and mighty couldn’t ignore.

The ultimate example, of course, was Rathergate; when Dan Rather tried to defame President Bush using a “letter” from a Texas Air Guard general as evidence. My friends and, at the time, cohosts at Power Line led a horde of thousands of people who pointed out facts about the “letter” that meant it could have been nothing but a forgery, and a really clumsy one at that. Dan Rather and Mary Mapes paid with their careers – and almost two decades later, and even after Hollywood put out a scabrous fabulist movie to try to rewrite the history, they remain disgraced.

And that was one of many such episodes, both earth-shaking (my friend and former co-host Ed Morrissey’s reporting leading to the toppling of the Chretien government in Canada) and minor league (me and an army other other lilliputian bloggers, bit by bit, showing the Star Tribune that Nick Coleman’s hackery was going to hurt them more than it helped).

I wouldn’t say that “Big Left” [1] created “Social Media” to divert energy, talent and effort from the DIY world of blogging. But if they had intended that, I don’t know how they could have done it better.

And I think it’s important; back when conservative blogs (and our other alternate media) *were* a major social medium, then there existed a powerful counterbalance to “cancel culture”. Now, the counterbalance has all but evaporated.

And we see the results. “Cancel Culture” is a cancer that is gutting American intellectual, social and even vocational life.

Glenn Reynolds points out that the way to fight cancel culture is “never apologize, punch back, and bring friends”. I suggest that one can’t skimp on any of the three. Which means you need friends.

Since blogging, as Brad Carlson notes, has gone pretty passé in the past ten years or so, it’s time – and imperative – for the good guys to recapture, if not the organic media we all built (although that’d be great, too), then at least the strength in numbers that allowed the Army of Davids to punch upward, and do it effectively, back in the day.

Something – an organic social group, a club, whatever – to bring some raw, motivated numbers to the fight. (And it is a fight, like it or not).

It’d be a shame to lose the culture war because nobody showed up where it mattered.


[1] You got Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Steel? You got Big Left.

2 thoughts on “Pondering

  1. It would be an interesting trick to find a suite of blogging software that does not have licensing issues that could be used to restrict speech.

  2. Pingback: In The Mailbox: 04.27.21 : The Other McCain

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.