Conservative bloggers/twitter for my elderly father?
March 28, 2016 6:13 AM   Subscribe

Help me find conservative but intelligent bloggers and twitterers. The last questions on this topic are more than eight years old.

My nearly 90-year-old father would like to start writing. Right now he mostly writes letters to the editor in his local newspaper, but he would like to start writing something else, like a "blog email thing" or perhaps an eBook. I feel confident with editing, proofreading, and formatting for publication, but want to find some smart, conservative bloggers and twitter feeds for him to consume. I want him to understand these technologies so he can start developing a following of his own. He is a talented writer and has led a remarkable life, living on five different continents, and raising six children from the start of the Baby Boom all the way through to the middle of Generation X.

My worst fear is that he will spend time and effort writing and no one will read it. It happened before in the mid-90s, where he spent several years researching and writing a history of a local church movement in southern Idaho, and there were hundreds of copies of the self-published book left over. This time I want him to develop an audience, which I think he could do on Facebook and Twitter. He has dozens of friends his age he keeps up with, and almost 150 children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren who would be interested in reading a memoir.

He is a retired military officer who started out enlisted, earned a commission, and served from 1945 to 1965. He fought in the Korean War, and worked for the US State Department in Vietnam after he retired. He later spent decades in his second career travelling the globe building power-plants in third-world nations. BUT, he is definitely from a previous generation with different worldview. The gunfighter Wyatt Earp was still alive the year my father was born. He watches Fox News all day, and sincerely believes that Obama is a socialist, and possibly a Muslim.

What are some blogs, bloggers, Facebook and twitter feeds he could read? I am thinking people who he agrees with or only moderately challenge his views, since another important aim is to show how social media works in the 21st century. As my own views have become more centrist and even a little left-leaning over the years, I find I am having trouble thinking of good candidates for this introduction to social media for him. Part of it is that I limit my own Facebook use to focusing on my education career (no use to him) and that I don't use Twitter much myself. The only one I could come up with on my own is Ralph Peters, but it looks like he doesn't use Twitter that much himself.

So, Metafilter, please help me find some smart but conservative social media feeds that will also show my intelligent but internet non-savvy father how these things work?
posted by seasparrow to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
First Thingsis religiously oriented, and it's a mixed bag, but some of the contributors are people your father might follow. (I'm guessing the religious aspect would not be totally out of line for him, because of one of the things you mention.)

Also, people that write for the Wall Street Journal. A few of them pop up in my Twitter feed.
posted by BibiRose at 6:44 AM on March 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'd get your father a subscription to Ricochet, which is sort of like a Metafilter for conservative politics. It consciously defines itself by civility and a center-right position.

Conservative New York Times columnist Ross Douthat @DouthatNYT is also quite active on Twitter.

Your dad might appreciate Rod Dreher (@roddreher) (who's more active as an old-school blogger at the American Conservative than on Twitter, though he is on it.)

While I not infrequently find him infuriating, Michael Brendan Dougherty (@michaelbd) is a good example of someone who's built up a following on Twitter where that following is not entirely made up of idiots. He writes for The Week.

Here a starter set of some Twitter people, diverse in right-wing ideology and topical interest and who are not bug-eyed nutters or doing a bug-eyed nutter impression on Twitter:

Matthew Continetti (@continetti)
Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel)
Charles CW Cooke (@charlescwcooke)
Kyle W Orton (@KyleWOrton)
Stephen Hayes (@stephenfhayes)
John Schindler (@20committee)
Sean Davis (@seanmdav)
Nick Gillespie (@nickgillespie)
Daniel Larison (@daniellarison)
Terry Teachout (@terryteachout)
Terry Mattingly (@tweetmattingly)
Mark Tooley (@markdtooley)
Ben Sasse (@BenSasse)
John McCormack (@McCormackJohn)
Russell Moore (@drmoore)

Those are also people using twitter in what I'd call a relatively straightforward way.

Other people I'd recommend following like @popehat, @heminator, @jaycostTWS, @kevinNR are playing a more convoluted 2nd order Twitter game that might be confusing for someone starting out.
posted by Jahaza at 7:10 AM on March 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

Ditto @terryteachout for culture. Perhaps @dandrezner.

I agree that @popehat may be confusing for a beginner (not least because it's actually two people).
posted by thomas j wise at 7:36 AM on March 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Rod Dreher and Ross Douthat are the gold standard. The other bloggers at the American Conservative are pretty good. Theodore Dalrymple's columns are gold, and City Journal is a good place to start for finding other thoughtful conservatives. I generally like Reihan Salaam as well. For magazines, The New Criterion (art), The New Atlantis (science), and the Claremont Review of Books (self-evident) are interesting and thoughtful.
posted by kevinbelt at 7:48 AM on March 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Volokh Conspiracy is law prof blog. It's more libertarian than straight conservative. It's hosted by the Washington Post, and you may have to register and/or subscribe if you want to comment.

Simple Justice is written by a defense attorney. I suspect that he has liberal views on some topics, e.g. gun control, but is conservative in most of his writing. The author, Scott Crossfield is also a prime mover here: Mimesis Law Fault Lines.

Greg Mankiw is an economics prof at Harvard. He is about the only conservative economist who sounds like he exists in the real world. Unfortunately, most of his blog post are about Harvard-specific things.

And he should follow Lowering the Bar, just to improve his mood.
posted by SemiSalt at 8:08 AM on March 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

I guess it depends on your definition of "bug-eyed nutter," but here are some others, not yet mentioned, whom I haven't unfollowed on Twitter:

Tim Carney (@tpcarney), columnist for the Washington Examiner and nice guy
Pascal Emanuel Gobry (@pegobry), who is Parisian, so some of his tweets are in French
Emily Zanotti (@emzanotti), who writes for the American Spectator (@amspec), which is also good
I like Jim Geraghty (@jimgeraghty) of the National Review, but he does a lot of scheduled tweeting of his own pieces, which can get tiresome.
@WestWingReport is not partisan one way or the other, but I have enjoyed their posts a lot.
@PatrickRuffini is a consultant/data analyst with some good insights and does some cool stuff with data
posted by Comic Sans-Culotte at 8:16 AM on March 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Powerline is a respected conservative blog.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:23 AM on March 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

StrategyPage is a news blog about world politics and the world's militaries, written by Jim Dunnigan, Al Nofi, and a few other people.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:28 AM on March 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Not exactly what you're asking for, but I have been enjoying David Axelrod's political interviews podcast lately, and despite Axelrod being decidedly not a conservative, he has some really great interviews with prominent conservatives (my recent favorites are Lindsay Graham and Eric Erickson).
posted by mostly vowels at 8:33 AM on March 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

he might enjoy Peter L Berger's Blog
He writes well and often very funny and was born in 1929.
posted by 15L06 at 2:27 PM on March 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

forgot to add - there is a subscription fee.
posted by 15L06 at 2:29 PM on March 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Chris Ladd's GOP Lifer blog ( may be of interest. Mr. Ladd is a proponent of "governed" free markets, is anti-racist, accepts climate science, and is appalled at the current state of the Republican party.
posted by Weftage at 9:11 AM on March 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Walter Russell Mead is a superb writer.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 12:14 PM on March 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Fanstastic resources, and something useful in every comment. Thank you all!
posted by seasparrow at 6:26 AM on May 7, 2016

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