I want to take up just a little bit of bandwidth in the next few posts pointing out how the Right Wing Noise Machine (RWNM) has created an unfair playing field, serving to keep the opposition from making a thoughtful case against the conservative agenda, and thereby denying our citizenry the dignity of deriving its own synthesis of a political prescription for the challenges facing the United States and its world partners in the post-Cold War era.
Most observers trace the birth of the 'modern' Conservative movement to William F. Buckley, Jr., who wrote God and Man at Yale (1951) and who, shortly thereafter, founded the National Review magazine. Kindred souls of a heretofore disparate and isolated conservative political sensibility coalesced around the ideas espoused by the founding editor and his staff. The magazine and its readers maintained a steady drumbeat of rhetoric, championing the rise of conservative political and economic theory, and giving momentum to the public face of this new "Movement Conservatism," incarnated as a re-configured Republican Party. Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, respectively, served as the standard bearers for the ascendant movement.
In the mid 1960s through the 70s, wealthy benefactors (the Coors and Scaife families, conspicuously) began funding the implementation of tactics intended to serve the grand over-arching strategy of attaining Conservative political dominance in the United States. The first significant tactic then, was the establishment of an organizational structure centered on newly created think tanks dedicated to conservative causes, and the initiation of direct mail campaigns to inform, inflame, consolidate, and solicit funds from a burgeoning block of voters perceived to be sympathetic, or potentially sympathetic, to conservative causes. This structure, fueled by its wealthy patrons, is the strong vigorous root system nourishing today's conservative dominance of political life in the United States, and is one component of the right wing's powerful, monolithic noise machine.
I'll be looking at other parts of the machine, in the next installment.