Join 3,438 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

Tags:

What's the conservative equivalent of metafilter?
November 18, 2006 6:32 PM   Subscribe

What's the conservative equivalent of metafilter?

Don't worry, I'm not defecting. But I find that I get more and more of my news (and opinions on it) from mefi and other left-leaning web sites. This causes two problems: 1) I'm get the 'echo chamber effect' where I only end up hearing one particular interpretation of events, and 2) (which is related) when I get into a political debate with a smart, well-informed conservative (yes, they exist), I don't hold up very well.

What I like about mefi is that the debate is mostly 'reality-oriented.' Repeating any party line for its own sake rarely works here, and if you try any rhetorical tricks, you're usually called on it. It keeps people honest. I don't want to waste my time with talking points or propaganda. So I'd like to find metafilter's evil twin, which is similarly intellectually rigorous, but whose political leanings are mirror image or mefi. The goal being, between mefi and anti-mefi, I can triangulate to the truth.

And yes, I know there are some conservatives on here, but it's pretty clear that liberals are over-represented here compared to the American population.

Online, group discussion formats like mefi are preferred, but I'm open to actual printed-on-paper media, too.
posted by molybdenum to Society & Culture (39 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
Before anyone recommends it, I will say that redstate.com is probably not what you're looking for. Little real debate, lots of parroting the party line (sometimes even going to the right of it). Still though, it has it's place if that's what you're after.
posted by Brian James at 6:46 PM on November 18, 2006


Community.livejournal.com/debate is almost what you're looking for— It's predominantly conservative, it functions as a community, there are some very smart people there.
But on the whole, they're far more into trolling, personality cults, and adolescent humor. Maybe it's a conservative version of SomethingAwful or Fark.
posted by klangklangston at 6:54 PM on November 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


(And for print media, I'd recommend the Economist for a slightly-right free market capitalist view, and the WSJ editorial pages for a batshit looney rightwing view written by some of the most erudite people around).
posted by klangklangston at 6:55 PM on November 18, 2006


You might find that asking for a conservative "Metafilter" is like demanding more conservative humanities professors, or wanting liberal talk-back shock radio, or wondering why there aren't more pacifists in the army. By some definitions, "liberal" and "progressive" mean "open to new ideas, understanding a wide range of points of view, willing to analyse". Finding conservatives who are open to new ideas, willing to take on a variety of points of view, willing to challenge ideas on merit rather than ideologically might be difficult.
posted by Jimbob at 7:35 PM on November 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


A somewhat similar question that surely has some relevant answers can be found here.
posted by librarina at 7:36 PM on November 18, 2006


There are [1, 2]] previously related questions dealing with educating yourself on "the other side" although I don't know of a right wing equivalent to Metafilter. Meta is rather unique community in my opinion.
posted by sophist at 7:36 PM on November 18, 2006


By some definitions, "liberal" and "progressive" mean "open to new ideas, understanding a wide range of points of view, willing to analyse".

Of course, that's not the political definition, but it definitely fits the ideal model of MeFi.

For whatever it's worth, I know lots and lots of conservatives, and as far as I know, none of them are the particular brand of geek that is interested in something like MeFi. I know of no other site that could be called a MeFi equivalent -- liberal, conservative, or otherwise.
posted by JekPorkins at 7:43 PM on November 18, 2006


Well, yeah, on the internet "conservative" tends to map a lot more closely to "libertarian" than anything else.
posted by klangklangston at 7:46 PM on November 18, 2006


Ya want conservative? Spengler
has a piece by Henry K.
posted by hortense at 7:53 PM on November 18, 2006


The Well used to be another general-interest, semi-gated mostly-intelligent web community, but it gets virtually no mindshare now. I've read that it had plenty of libertarians, though.
posted by gsteff at 8:10 PM on November 18, 2006


I asked a question somewhat, but not entirely, similar. The answers might be of use.
posted by WCityMike at 8:39 PM on November 18, 2006


I don't think what you are looking for can exist..

Look at Jerry Pournelle's site (blog?).. On Pournelle's site, he is the community elder. There is lots of interaction with his readers, but it is all filtered through him. That is exactly how it should be, if you are conservative.

So basically, I think the very structure of MetaFilter tends left. Certainly not on every issue, and not universally so, but.. There is an underlying suggestion of equality here, which just isn't conservative.
posted by Chuckles at 9:18 PM on November 18, 2006


There is an underlying suggestion of equality here, which just isn't conservative.

I think one reason you'll have a hard time getting an answer to this question is that the people answering the question don't know what "conservative" means (as evidenced above).
posted by JekPorkins at 9:22 PM on November 18, 2006


I agree. Most self-identified conservatives also think "liberal" means "immoral," while most self-identified liberals think "conservative" means "corrupt" or "closed-minded idiot."

American politics is so pointless.

But back to the question: Most of my really hardcore conservative friends not interested in chatting up people on the web. But I don't think MeFi is hardcore liberal. I think its political tone is defined more by the general tendency of MeFites, who are brought together for other than political reasons, to recognize that the U.S. has gone to hell in the last 6 years.
posted by JekPorkins at 9:41 PM on November 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


I am in need of such a site, and for the same reasons ... mostly.

As a smart, well-informed conservative (libertarian-esque) I get downright depressed by the liberal slant that permeates not only mefi but digg, the daily show and seemingly everywhere I turn for intellectual stimulation. Like all bigotry and prejudice, you don't really know how widespread and hurtful it is unless you are on the recieving end.
posted by likeSoy at 9:50 PM on November 18, 2006


I can't believe no one has mentioned Free Republic. Meh... it's not exactly a conservative Metafilter, but I enjoy reading the forums even though sometimes I see such glaringly ignorant banter that I have to look away (posters routinely call for the extermination of gays, Muslims, liberals, etc) It's been great since the election because the posters have basically been shitting themselves. Vicious, ignorant, and scary - if these right wing drones could learn to... I dunno... not sound like mouth frothing lunatics we'd all be in trouble.

The Rumsfeld Resigns / fired thread was amazingly myopic. They love that fucker.

I suppose Little Green Footballs also deserves mention, although I've never really paid any attention to it...
posted by wfrgms at 10:38 PM on November 18, 2006


Try NROCorner.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:45 PM on November 18, 2006


Well, here's the problem. There are varying shades of political opinion of all stripes. But when the people in power are giving you what you want, intelligent debate is not only unnecessary, but inefficient. That's why the conservative equivalent of Mefi is thirty thousand individual homepages with broken javascript and animated american flag gifs and bible quotes. Really, no disrespect intended: if we had someone like Bobby Kennedy in the White House, I'd be doing the same thing (minus the bible quotes, but you know what I mean.)

We've had six straight years where you could win arguments with "hurf durf bush freedom terrorists." So why engage in intelligent discussion of any kind? It only hurts your cause. Just ask George Will and William Buckley and all the other quote-unquote "real conservatives" who have soured on the Bush regime as of late. They only ended up helping the terrorists Democrats win. Look at how Limbaugh imploded after the election. After six years of whining about how Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi were obstructing the government, now he finds out that they are running the government and, oh by the way, his complete failure to question anything the Republican leadership ever did is now coming back to bite him and all the dittoheads in their collective asses.

If somebody really cool and progressive ends up in the White House in 2008 - someone Feingoldesque - or even a traditional pro-union economic liberal like Chris Dodd, look for DailyKos and Maher and Jon Stewart and even the Mefi hivemind to go into shutdown mode for a while. When all you have got to say is "I support the president," then you got nothing really to say. You don't want to compromise your chosen leader's chances by attacking him from the left, and there's no basis to attack him from the right. You just keep counting and recounting your chips until the next election and pray that you keep your majority.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 10:50 PM on November 18, 2006 [2 favorites]


Saucy Intruder highlights an important factor in all of this, which I think was also at the heart of JekPorkins earlier post ...

The entire population, left and right, can also be split into "those who are politically active because they care about the world and future" and "those who love to be right".

Unfortunately, you're going to hear alot more from that second group, especially in forums and outlets that are primarily political.
posted by likeSoy at 11:05 PM on November 18, 2006


Honestly, I doubt you'd find one. The most intelligent conservatives I know generally debate in person and reference news and journal articles as needed to back up their points. Not because they aren't tech savvy, but because they have the same trouble that you do. They can't find a place online that isn't full of ignorant, close-minded, bigots.
posted by Loto at 1:04 AM on November 19, 2006


it's pretty clear that liberals are over-represented here compared to the American population.
I question this assumption.
posted by krisjohn at 1:10 AM on November 19, 2006


SaucyIntruder sums the whole thing up extremely nicely, IMHO. Everyone give that one another read.
posted by rossination at 2:24 AM on November 19, 2006


It doesn't exist. Most of the sites discussed above are no more than conservative echo chambers who refuse to broker dissent. MeFi, while rather liberal in its character, is at least open to conservative ideas. Yes, there are the shrill idiots who shoot down conservatives without using their brains the same way conservatives shoot down liberal ideas at LGF, but you do actually get discussion here. Perhaps the conservative mantra in the last decade or so has been so much to villify liberals as to prevent most of them from having an intelligent discussion with one. I don't know. However, it seems like no conservative discussion arena is open to liberal ideas.
posted by caddis at 2:28 AM on November 19, 2006


As a smart, well-informed conservative (libertarian-esque) I get downright depressed by the liberal slant that permeates not only mefi but digg, the daily show and seemingly everywhere I turn for intellectual stimulation.

if you don't see what you want around you, sometimes you have to make it yourself ... this is something that bothers me about conservatives ... they go off about "liberal" music, "liberal" films, "liberal" media and now "liberal" websites ...

it's not the world's job to cater to you and give you the art, the media and the forums that you want ... if what you want isn't out there YOU have to make it happen

matt is talented and able, but he's not exceptionally talented and able ... he simply had an idea and was quite determined to follow through with it ... quite a few other people could do the same thing ...
posted by pyramid termite at 6:05 AM on November 19, 2006


[a few comments removed, take poltical mudslinging to email or metatalk.]
posted by jessamyn at 6:14 AM on November 19, 2006


Andrew Sullivan, previous editor of The New Republic, is a conservative. His blog is very good. "True" conservatives disassociated themselves with the existing Republican party a long time ago, so if you're looking for that kind of non-thinking, I recommend Little Green Footballs (linked above). I put that warning in there because his site doesn't scream "neocon" since he's not only HIV-positive, but also gay, and also very bright, and thus you might think I was trying to pull a fast one by directing you to some godless communist (he's Roman Catholic, by the way).
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:48 AM on November 19, 2006


I think there is something to be said for the natural tendency of a message board to lean left, just as there is something about academia and journalism that seems to attract liberals more than conservatives. That doesn't mean that it's a strict line, but in general the 'guiding truth' of liberalism is discussion, breaking down barriers, working out the best possible solution; whereas the guiding truth of conservatism is action, upholding absolute principles, following (god/the law). That is, conservatives tend to think there's inherent justice or established knowledge that we simply must stay true to, and liberals tend to think we have to have a lot of dialogue and come up with a way to go about things that will work best.

So I don't think it's any secret conspiracy that makes centers of continuous discourse more likely to be liberal - it's the same reason liberals are considered wishy-washy and prone to infighting. The conservative ideal stands tall, confident, unflinching, and keeps private thoughts private. The liberal is the one who lets everything inside spill out.
posted by mdn at 7:02 AM on November 19, 2006 [2 favorites]


"I think there is something to be said for the natural tendency of a message board to lean left, just as there is something about academia and journalism that seems to attract liberals more than conservatives."

I had a journalism professor who avered that trend was because conservatives generally went into business and made money, whereas journalism and academia is for poor idealists (he was a conservative, though he denied it).

Accordingly, there just might not be all that much cash in website admin.
posted by klangklangston at 7:24 AM on November 19, 2006


Molybdenum, if you are a consumer of Podcasts, I highly recommend Common Sense with Dan Carlin. Very entertaining and truly independant, he's turned me around on a few issues.
posted by likeSoy at 8:07 AM on November 19, 2006


As far as a conservative MetaFilter-- a general-interst site for hip, witty, urban sophisticates-- there is no such thing.

Captain's Quarters has pretty sane conservatism, occasionally insane posts in comment threads.

I'm souring on the Corner after 6+ years of reading it, because it's a bit too tolerant of idiocy and too eager to repeat the day's RNC talking points (ie, during the Kerry hates the troops Story of the Century). But it's sometimes thoughtful, sometimes revealing, sometimes entertaining. NRO houses a bunch of other blogs, too, that I don't know much about.

Andrew Sullivan, who's viewed as an apostate on the right for his vehemently anti-Bush blogging, plus his being totally gay, has just written a book on what he considers to be conservatism.

Daniel Larison writes from a paleocon/theocon perspective (light on the need for an American jihad in the Middle East, heavier on social issues). Ditto Rod Dreher. David Kuo, ex-Bush advisor on faith-based initiatives, also blogs at Beliefnet, to mixed results.

Daniel Drezner and Gregory Mankiew (ex-Bush II adviser) focus on economic issues. Gregory Djerejian focuses on national security. All three were once Bush supporters and are now critics, to some degree.

It makes me wonder it it's been easier to be a motivated, reality-based liberal than conservative of late; when you don't have power, it's easy to seem rational, because you don't have any of the taint of politics on you. Not to excuse the unusually dogged corruption of the Republican Party of late, but it seems like many conservative blogs have lapsed into party boosterism (many at the Corner) or Bush criticism (ie, John Cole). It's gotta be tough to be all charged up about being a fiscal conservative, careful steward of the military-type Republican when the Republicans actually running the country and the party are indifferent to ideas.
posted by ibmcginty at 1:27 PM on November 19, 2006


Forgot to mention the best intellectually honest conservative site out there-- The American Scene.

Here's a liberal discussion about the Corner, till conservatives are linked in and it becomes a flamewar.
posted by ibmcginty at 2:01 PM on November 19, 2006


Somewhat related: Cross-ideological conversations among bloggers (a study, w/ graphs)

You don't want to compromise your chosen leader's chances by attacking him from the left, and there's no basis to attack him from the right.

Back in 2000, MeFi went full Nader. Nader Nader Nader in fact. Much fun. We didn't have too many conservatives then, though.

Anyway, the corollary is that it's just possible that with a Democratic Congress, such an animal might appear. Even Free Republic, back in the day, had its share of intelligent discourse (when they weren't picking through Clinton's underwear, that is).

I will say that Den Beste used to run a blessedly flame-free discussion board that was mainly right-wing. There wasn't a whole lot of depth, though, and half the threads were about Stephen's posts.

We're not getting any closer to the right-wing MeFi, but there is Arts & Letters Daily.
posted by dhartung at 4:33 PM on November 19, 2006



posted by Budge at 5:56 PM on November 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


Let me try that again...
LIBERTY POST
posted by Budge at 5:57 PM on November 19, 2006


Seconding the Economist. They started a blog a couple months ago.
posted by russilwvong at 10:49 PM on November 19, 2006


ALDaily is conservative?!
posted by Saucy Intruder at 4:22 AM on November 20, 2006


the 'guiding truth' of liberalism is discussion, breaking down barriers, working out the best possible solution; whereas the guiding truth of conservatism is action, upholding absolute principles, following (god/the law).

This is a great example of the "our side = the good guys, their side = the bad guys mentality."
posted by JekPorkins at 8:13 AM on November 20, 2006


I recently discovered Joe User. It doesn't have the volume--either in posts or discussion--that MeFi has, but it does seem to have reasonably intelligent conservative discussion there.

Another similarity with MeFi is that the posts are not exclusively political.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:22 AM on November 20, 2006


This is a great example of the "our side = the good guys, their side = the bad guys mentality."

really? I don't think so. A lot of people think the vague, it's all relative, let's talk about it some more, approach of liberals is the wrong way to go about things. Conservatives usually believe there are some absolute principles or rules which cannot be questioned, and that society's purpose is to uphold those. Different conservatives may have different principles, but the basic idea is generally that there is a right way, and a wrong way - that there is an ultimate standard (whether religious or rational or traditional) that stands at the center, and that constant discussion is often mere rationalization & masturbation.

I dunno, maybe actual conservatives can tell me how this is wrong, but I was not attempting to say one way is better than the other - there is something to be said for taking action & being true to principles rather than endlessly sharing & analyzing...

ALDaily is conservative?!

It's got a definite "provocative/libertarian" bent, I'd say.
posted by mdn at 10:00 AM on November 20, 2006


« Older "Papers Please" Part...   |  Quit smoking, need weight mana... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.