Jonah Goldberg

Liberals have been suffering from conservative envy for several years now. Oh, they don't envy us our evil ways, our penchant for extreme cruelty or the fact that we smell like cabbage. They envy us our toys and success.

The liberal Center for American Progress was founded explicitly to be the left's answer to the conservative Heritage Foundation. The lefty radio network, "Air America," was launched to copy the success of Rush Limbaugh & Co. Today, deep-pocketed liberals are scrambling to copy conservative foundations, even though liberal foundations have always had more money.

Most conservatives I know snicker at all this. It's not that talk radio, think tanks and foundations haven't been essential to the rise of American conservatism in the last five decades. They have been (see my colleague John Miller's excellent new book, "A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America," for a window into that effort). But liberals are emphasizing hardware because they don't want to question the validity of their very outdated software.

Look, conservatives would love to switch places with liberals. We'd get the universities, Hollywood, the Rockefeller, Ford, Carnegie and Pew Foundations, the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, The New York Times, National Public Radio, Time, Newsweek, The New Yorker, CBS, including "60 Minutes" and Dan Rather's thousand-fingers massage chair, and so forth. Liberals, meanwhile, would get the Washington Times and Fox News, along with a few conservative foundations. I guess National Review and The New Republic would switch offices, which is fine by me. It'd make my commute easier.

And that sort of makes the point: Not only does the left have better stuff, but even if that weren't the case, the left's problem isn't a lack of mechanisms to "get their message out." Megaphones matter, but not as much as what you say into them.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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