What can anyone do? Our leading politicians do not share our values. In general, they do not defend our individual rights.
Mainstream media cannot help. It has sold itself to the leftist cause. Journalistic standards continue to erode. Marxism motivates much of today’s “reporting.”
Even many conservative commentators leave me unimpressed. Though they may be conservative, I’m not convinced that they know how to think in principle.
Take the case of Dennis Prager. In a recent article he reasons that “defeating Hillary Clinton, the Democrats, and the Left” is a principle. But principles are timeless things. The defeat of a person, a group, or even an ideology may be a worthy goal; but it is not a principle. Prager gives his conclusion, but he does not answer important objections.
Or consider Mark Levin. Like Prager, Levin cares deeply about conservatism. And, like Prager, he’s insightful. Normally, Levin can be trusted to take a principled view of things. But not always. He seems to have stepped back his principled opposition to tyrants and made an emergency exception.
Levin and Prager are among the best conservatives. For they are, in fact, conservatives. They are not merely playing the part.
We cannot say the same for many other conservative stars. Too many have brazenly destroyed our trust. In rejecting conservative candidates and stumping for imposters, they have cast doubt on their own conservative credentials.
It’s unclear whether they ever understood the basic principles of conservatism as enshrined in the Constitution:
- Individual rights
- Limited government
- Free markets
- The rule of law
If they understood these once, they don’t anymore.
I’m speaking of sources such as:
Sean Hannity, Fox News and Opinion generally, Breitbart News Network, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, and Allen West.
I don’t intend to be harsh toward them. Surely they have taught us much. Surely the conservative movement is grateful. But today it would be untruthful to include these voices as part of the conservative movement.
Use your own judgment. Try following one of them for awhile. Listen for whether they name and explain the principles of conservatism.
I find them too mixed or lacking in ideology. There are other problems. Lately we’ve seen character attacks, poor logic, spreading of misinformation, and even apologizing for evil. It becomes harder and harder for conservatives take these voices seriously.
My latest article: Where to Get Reliable Newshttps://t.co/u3lIoDTvxY
— Cody Libolt (@CodyLibolt) September 9, 2016
From this point forward, I want to be more intentional about who listen to. I will divide my listening into two basic groups: Mainstream sources (for verification purposes only) and trusted, conservative sources (for facts and evaluations).
Here’s how I break it down:
1) Mainstream Sources
- New York Times
- Washington Post
- The Wall Street Journal
These do much of the the primary reporting. They are considered credible. Most are “left of center.” The Wall Street Journal is the least leftist of the group, but their ideology is malformed. I usually don’t make time to read editorials from these sources (Proverbs 19:27). When I read their news stories, it’s to confirm hard details about what I’ve heard elsewhere.
Why bother with mainstream sources? I want to see them confirm some stories. When even these guys say it, that means something. So, while I don’t trust their perspective, I might cite them. When sharing a breaking story, it can be useful to share a mainstream source instead of a niche source.
I only share these if I agree with what’s said. Most likely, sharing an article from these sources won’t be taken as a general endorsement.
2) Trusted, Conservative Sources
Here is most of my reading. They cover events from the perspective of my own worldview and values (generally). They summarize the stories of mainstream media, plus they offer critique.
Here are my own favorites, generally in order of how often I read them:
The Daily Signal
Michael J. Hurd*
I hope you’ll find these reflections useful. The internet age has broken barriers and turned us all into gatekeepers. You can design your own newsfeed. Be intentional about the advisors you keep.
Scripture to Consider:
Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.
Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.