Is the perception of conservatism going downhill?

I assumed that up until this point, America was firmly split down the middle in its conservative/liberal leanings. And love it or hate it, conservatism has been on the upswing since Rush Limbaugh became big 10 years ago, causing more people, IMHO, to publicly identify with it.

I wonder if that’s changing. Over the last week, we’ve seen 1) Rush get accused of doing illegal drugs, 2) Rush get accused of racism (in a more public way than usual), 3) Arnold come under fire for goosing women, and 4) the Bush administration get accused of exposing CIA operatives, on top of all the complaints about the war and the economy.

I’m wondering: is this a bad press week for conservatives, or is America starting to become significantly disenchanted with that political leaning?

You don’t get out much, do you? Ahhnood is quite moderate in his politics and has been denounced by conservatives since he started. Conservatives support McCormick in California.


I think you’re confusing the pecadilloes of certain politicians and pundits with the country’s political leanings. It’s like suggesting Christianity is on the decline because Jimmy Swaggart got caught with a hooker, or that Chappaquiddick (rather than, say, the failure of the Great Society) was responsible for the decline of liberalism several decades ago.

I also think you give Limbaugh too much credit. Conservatism’s ascendency in the U.S. began with Ronald Reagan’s appearance as a presidential candidate in 1976 and his election in 1980, not with the appearance of a radio talk show host some years later.

The “demonzation” of liberals was largely pioneered by Spiro Agnew…


From scripts written by Pat Buchanan.