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James K. Glassman: Conservative Votes, Liberal Institutions
Tech Central Station ^ | 01/20/2005 | James K. Glassman

Posted on 01/20/2005 8:10:02 AM PST by Tolik

Taking stock of America at Inauguration Day. The work of changing American institutions is just beginning.


This inauguration marks the seventh, out of the past ten, in which a Republican president parades down Pennsylvania Avenue.

At the Capitol, the procession's starting point, Republicans hold a 10-seat majority in the Senate and a solid grasp, for the 10th year in a row, on the House. The majority of governors, including those of the four largest states, are Republican, and the GOP controls most state legislatures.

Most significantly, Americans, by a three-to-two margin, identify themselves as conservatives rather than liberals.

Over the past quarter-century, U.S. politics has changed dramatically. Republicans, conservatives, free-market advocates have moved from the fringes to center stage. But elsewhere, the changes are less dramatic.

The American Left - liberalism, collectivism, statism, New Dealism (call it what you want) - remains firmly in charge of most powerful U.S. institutions. Here is a brief review of 10 of them, along with my rough estimate, by percentage, of conservative influence….

Media: Put talk radio, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, Fox News and a few dailies on one side and practically everything else on the other. Nine-tenths of national reporters and editors vote Democratic, and they identify themselves as liberal over conservative by five to one. The Bush Administration has had no discernible effect even on NPR and PBS. Will the CBS scandal change anything? Of course not. The power of the big dailies and TV networks is crumbling thanks to the Internet, but slowly. Conservative influence: 20 percent.

Government Bureaucracy: For more than 70 years, liberalism has burrowed deep into the federal bureaucracy, where the people who know how to pull the levers of power work. At a few outposts, like the Consumer Products Safety Commission and, lately, the CIA, creative chiefs are rooting out the entrenched, but the task is daunting. Conservative influence: 30 percent.

Entertainment and the Arts: Liberals are more powerful in Hollywood than ever. "When was the last time," wrote Andrew Klavan in the Hartford Courant, "that you saw a conservative politician who was the hero of a movie - as opposed to the slavering villains of 'The Manchurian Candidate,' 'The Contender,' or 'The American President'?" Det. Ed Green on "Law and Order" calls the president the "dude who lied to us," and we barely notice. We're sadly inured to it. Conservative influence: 10 percent.

Religion: While the press (see above) highlights the power of evangelicals, religious institutions like the National Council of Churches (representing 45 million Christians) and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops boost the welfare state and oppose the thrust of U.S. foreign policy. Conservative influence: 40 percent.

Big Business: Perhaps because it is afraid of being the target of zealous regulators and prosecutors, big business has become a meek and mute. Wall Street, trapped in Manhattan, has always leaned left - as its main representative in Washington, Bill Donaldson, chairman of the SEC, demonstrates. Yes, there are groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable, which push tax cuts and tort reform, but big business, in general, is a paper tiger. Conservative influence: 50 percent.

Small Business: The white-hot center of conservatism is entrepreneurship. Conservative influence: 90 percent.

Academe: Liberal and getting more so. The only exception is the tiny world of think tanks, where conservatives rule. In K-12 education, where the teachers' unions maintain their stranglehold, reform is coming, glacially. Conservative influence: 20 percent.

Philanthropy: Captains of industry make the money; their leftish progeny spend it on fashionable causes. But there's reason for optimism as new philanthropies that stress market-style accountability, like the Gates Foundation, develop. Conservative influence: 30 percent.

Military: Conservative dominate here, and the military has been a key socializing force for personal responsibility and patriotism. But civilians, don't forget, run the military. Conservative influence: 70 percent.

NGOs: Non-governmental organizations, from the AARP to Consumers Union to the NAACP to the Sierra comprise a leftist stronghold. Meanwhile, the U.S. government and the United Nations are farming out more of their own work to such groups. Conservative influence: 20 percent.

Not a pretty picture for the right: seven institutions in liberal hands, two in conservative, one split. Two big questions for conservatives: 1) Can political pressure be brought to bear to change institutions? No, and it's probably best that way. And, 2) should conservatives infiltrate existing institutions or grow their own? Infiltration works better, but, thanks to the Internet, the start-up route holds more and more attraction.

Today, 25 years after Ronald Reagan's victory, the work of changing American institutions is just beginning.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: jameskglassman

1 posted on 01/20/2005 8:10:02 AM PST by Tolik
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To: Lando Lincoln; quidnunc; .cnI redruM; Valin; yonif; SJackson; dennisw; monkeyshine; Alouette; ...

Nailed It!

This ping list is not author-specific for articles I'd like to share. Some for perfect moral clarity, some for provocative thoughts; or simply interesting articles I'd hate to miss myself. (I don't have to agree with the author 100% to feel the need to share an article.) I will try not to abuse the ping list and not to annoy you too much, but on some days there is more of good stuff that is worthy attention. I keep separate PING lists for my favorite authors Victor Davis Hanson, Lee Harris, David Warren, Orson Scott Card. You are welcome in or out, just freepmail me (and note which PING list you are talking about).

2 posted on 01/20/2005 8:11:05 AM PST by Tolik
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Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: Tolik
Today, 25 years after Ronald Reagan's victory, the work of changing American institutions is just beginning.

Excellent piece and dead on target. While some conditions have improved under Bush others have considerably worsened, particularly with big business sponsoring the over-regulation of private entrepreneurship.

4 posted on 01/20/2005 8:36:04 AM PST by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: Ariston

36,000 may be a long way away - but look at the net at Amazon or EBAY and tell me that futurists like Glassman are not seeing the world with new eyes. the motley fool boys see some very powerful well run companies changing communications and they have a longer view of what works. I for one like the idea that Geo. Will and Glassman present today -conservatves must work harder and they need to take a STAND.

5 posted on 01/20/2005 8:38:32 AM PST by q_an_a
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To: Ariston
Why not?!

Everybody have their pet projects and everybody make mistakes. He was wrong on 36,000 but his articles more often make sense than not.

There is nobody I can agree with for 100%, even the authors I like and ping to their articles routinely.

And another way around, some people I really don't like can bring an idea that I will agree with.

I can sign under everything in this specific article.
6 posted on 01/20/2005 10:23:43 AM PST by Tolik
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