Conservative opinion should strive for more

Conservative columnists should rely less on the word “liberal” and focus on the issues.

A survey released last week by the Pew Research Center found that Democrats have opened the widest margin in party identification in nearly two decades. The report indicates that many conservative ideals are losing ground among average Americans, and the trend is especially pronounced among young people. The results suggested that the gap between the rich and the poor, the use of our country’s military, and fears about the social safety-net combine to push citizens to the left.

According to the survey, the conservative revolution that came to fruition under Reagan in the 1980s, the movement that many say pushed the center of this country to the right, has lost steam. Analysts blame several factors, but perhaps the most overlooked is communication. Reagan earned the nickname “The Great Communicator” because of the way he spoke to the American people. These days, few conservatives can live up to that heritage.

The Internet has been a boon for political conversations, and might represent the conservative headquarters for political opinion. Each day they feature columns written by conservative thinkers from across the country and interviews with the icons of conservatism. One would expect this forum to engage politics in an analytical manner, obviously from a conservative perspective. Unfortunately, most opinions written are nothing more than partisan hackery.

The writers frequently rely on the loaded term “liberal” in addition to phrases such as “the left-wing political machine” or the “liberal agenda,” to make their points. For the most part, the terms liberal and conservative should play minor roles in our nation’s discourse. Grouping the country into two groups is not only simple-minded, it’s a disservice to the debate. Not all liberals fall neatly under the umbrella of liberalism, nor do all conservatives fall under the umbrella of conservatism.

If conservatives want their opinions to gain traction, they should spend more time writing about the issues and less time assaulting the “liberal” caricature. Certainly, hate sells, but for how long will this country keep buying it?