A new kind of American conservative?

In praise of the right-wingers who are prepared to step outside the echo-chamber:

Post-movement conservatives are not political operatives. Unorthodox writers like Ross Douthat, Andrew Sullivan, and Conor Friedersdorf can be loosely described as Burkeans. A few, including former Bush speechwriter David Frum and Reagan economic adviser Bruce Bartlett, were forced out of the movement for their apostasies. Those who have eschewed built-in movement career paths—a gig on Fox News! a talk show on AM radio!—and multi-platform merchandising opportunities face a dilemma. They must forgo the movement entirely or operate carefully at its margins, working toward a conservatism that is interested in much more than electoral success…

The conservative media in particular—once the vibrant repository of philosophical debate and keen wit—has become bigger, more consolidated, and corporate… The groupthink is so extensive that several conservative publications seem to exist only to promote the work of other, indistinguishable movement outlets. (One typical headline from the Washington Free Beacon: “Fox News Cites Free Beacon Report.”)

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