Many pundits cannot resist comparing the current federal government shutdown to its most recent counterpart almost 20 years ago. In both cases, a Democrat president being at odds with a Republican-led House resulted in an unresolved stalemate and the interruption of certain federal services.
While the root cause is similar, our nation is a much different place than it was during the 1995 shutdown. The rapid advancement and proliferation of technology in the interim years has played an undeniable role in that shift. If played correctly, these breakthroughs can provide a great resource to conservatives hoping to spread the real story hidden beneath the mainstream media’s distortion.
The Western Center for Journalism is one of many alternative media sites that have seen an exponential growth in popularity over recent years. The disastrous presidency of Barack Obama has prompted even more conservative writers — professional or not — to embrace the Internet’s power of persuasion. By reaching a virtually limitless audience, the web has become a greater source of information than any of the media outlets that existed during the previous shutdown.
Not only is this loosely-banded army of bloggers and reporters calling the Democrat party to task for its role in the current debacle; spineless Republicans unwilling to stand up for the American people are also fair game. In the years since the Tea Party’s inception, the GOP has learned that it is no longer immune from conservative criticism.
While the mainstream media, including most newspapers and broadcast television networks, remain firmly entrenched in progressive ideology, conservatives are winning in the forums that encourage the free exchange of ideas. Aside from weblogs, right-wing social media campaigns represent an easy way for the average citizen to express his or her frustration with the status quo. It has become commonplace to see Twitter “hashtags” started by leftists overtaken by more engaged — and often far wittier — conservatives.
With so many options, the market share for more established press sources has diminished significantly, resulting in an increased willingness of candidates and politicians to speak directly to new media properties. Throughout the congressional debate over ObamaCare and the ensuing government shutdown, conservative bloggers have been heralding the bravery of Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and other legislators who are doing their jobs by reflecting the will of the people.
These sources have also helped rally the troops to make their voices heard where it matters most — in the offices of their political leaders. Coordinated efforts to send mass messages to representatives have been largely successful.
Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin explained that conservatives are in a much better position to effect change than during the prior shutdown.
“You feel like you’ve got allies with you and your voice isn’t just in the wilderness,” she explained.
Whether through getting involved in any number of grassroots efforts or penning an original blog, conservatives are now able to spread our message further than ever before. It is easy for elitists in Washington, D.C., to ignore singular voices of dissent. When we join as a united front, however, the powers that be will have no choice but to listen.
–Western Journalism staff writer B. Christopher Agee
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