The left feeds on fear. It does not try to persuade, but rather to excite or to terrify. But over the last couple of decades, conservatives have learned that the left is a toothless predator which relies upon its snarls and roars more than any real power to punish. The maledictions of leftism are familiar and suggest racial prejudice, misogyny, religious fanaticism, anti-social greed, indifference to pollution, etc.
Rush Limbaugh was subject to innumerable boycotts and outraged calls of leftists for his summary gagging. Rush, though, had done his homework. The tens of millions of true conservatives who had no national media outlet but his show and Rush's willingness to expose the utter hypocrisy of the leftist establishment media (putting them on the defensive) worked: attempts to frighten sponsors from his program failed spectacularly, and the more times that leftists tried to drive him away, with no success at all, the more we loved him.
About the same time Rush began a national hit, Clarence Thomas, having seen what happened to the estimable jurist Robert Bork, decided that he would fight against the sliming of Anita Hill. Judge Thomas, who had never been accused of sexual harassment when he was appointed to the federal bench or later to the federal appellate bench, wound up defending himself not only against Hill, but also against vile journalists who hoped that he would get a heart-attack and die soon. Thomas fought back against his "high-tech lynching," and Democrats began to retreat.
In the two decades since then, conservatives have increasingly fought back directly against those institutions of leftism which are used to shut us up or compel us to say and to do things we do not believe. It is high time that we see leftism as a toothless tiger which is slow, self-centered, and silly. The last Gallup Poll, this February, showed that conservatives outnumber liberals in every state except Massachusetts.
The left tried to keep Fox News out of cable markets, even though it was wildly popular with viewers, and then tried to blame Fox News for being biased. (The profound absurdity of three or four notional "competitors" all accusing in unison a single other competitor of being unfair honestly seems to have missed leftists.) Now the dwindling pool of committed leftists who still watch establishment media news or read its shrinking body of magazines and newspapers are increasingly ignored by ordinary Americans.
In the last few years, this resistance to leftist bullying has extended directly into the political arena. When Sarah Palin was our vice presidential nominee, the left spewed all the noxious venom it could on her, including creating lewd fake photos of her, and tried to savage her family as well. But Sarah, to her great credit, shrugged these pests off and proceeded with her message. As an attractive, happily married, devout Christian, Palin has much stronger foundations than the left can undermine.
Chris Christie ran a campaign for governor of New Jersey which shrugged off the angry attacks of public employees' unions, and then Christie proceeded to do what he promised to do. These unions were used to politicians kowtowing to them, but when Christie withstood their hits and the attacks by the media, he showed everyone how puny these leftist groups really were, even in New Jersey.
Scott Walker, of course, has taken these unions on even more directly, taking away the automatic deduction of union dues by public employees' unions and so likely ending their power forever in Wisconsin. He persuaded Republicans to hang tough through three series of elections and several other efforts to intimidate them. Everything the left tried, even in Wisconsin, failed utterly.
The salient fact is that we need fear the left no more. We don't need to listen to their media to get our news. We can even run media exposés of the left, as Planned Parenthood and ACORN have learned when the left egregiously misbehaves, even if the leftist media tries to spike the stories. We don't need to have our kids mortgage their future for the dubious value of a B.A. in sociology. As states pass laws to end voter fraud, we have forced leftists into solemnly warning that requiring a photo I.D. to vote is racist (while our countrymen, in private, must ask themselves: are they really serious?).
No. Leftists have not been serious for a long time. We must, of course, undo the damage of eighty years of leftism run amok: we must stop the momentum of collectivist statism, restore the Judeo-Christian values which form our national culture, restore power to state governments, reduce the mountain of government debt, and fix the other myriad disasters of leftism. But we should not view leftists today as a wolf which makes us afraid -- but rather as a parrot which makes us laugh.