Getting to know the right wing
November 17, 2016 8:13 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a right wing equivalent to Metafilter.

The recent election of a Certain Person (you may have heard something about it) has gotten me curious about the opinions and world views of conservatives and right wingers.
I decided to go against type (I can be pretty narrow minded and judgemental) and give the right wing a chance by exploring their online opinions.
Unfortunately, I started out with the Breitbart website. I was unfamiliar with it, had just heard the name somewhere, and in my attempt to give the right a fair hearing stumbled into what is, as I'm sure you all know, a cesspool of racism and stupidity. In short, that's not what I'm looking for.
What websites can I look at that are similar in style and structure to Metafilter, but that are frequented by conservatives and right wingers? I want to stress that I'm not interested in just reading things I disagree with in order to fuel my own outrage. I honestly want to read thoughtful opinions and world views from intelligent people who are wildly divergent from me in their beliefs.
posted by crazylegs to Society & Culture (24 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Breitbart is the main Trump supporter website.

Foreign Affairs is good to see what's going on with the Henry Kissinger set, but it's not a forum.
posted by benzenedream at 8:24 AM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

The American Conservative appears to mostly be holding the line in favor of reason. I'm fairly impressed by Daniel Larison, but the comments aren't... great.
posted by suelac at 8:31 AM on November 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

Metafilter is pretty unique on the internet for three reasons:
1) moderation
2) focus on links
3) fully user generated content (ie: editors don't post links, members do)

I hate to say it, but Reddit is probably the closest on the right. I don't know what parts of Reddit though. Its a big place.
posted by anastasiav at 8:36 AM on November 17, 2016 [4 favorites]

I once had the same idea but kind of gave up because I don't want to read sites like Breitbart. Sick people! One option for you is to subscribe to some of the newsletters from the RealClear web site. This site has articles on both sides of the spectrum:

Here's my favorite quote re conservatism:

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. (John Kenneth Galbraith)
posted by gilast at 8:53 AM on November 17, 2016 [18 favorites]

For a discussion forum, Reddit is probably your best bet. There probably is a forum somewhere on reddit frequented by reasonable folks on the right, but I don't know what it is.

One problem you may run into is that right does necessarily equal pro-Trump. I'll read right-ish stuff sometimes, and I find that most thoughtful observers on the right are just as horrified by Trump as the left is, albeit sometimes for different reasons or with a different emphasis.

I have encountered some pro-Trump takes from right-leaning intellectual types, but they always make me want to cringe. They are either performing some very obvious mental gymnastics to justify their support for someone who is clearly beyond the pale, using certain concepts that to me read like coded sympathy for racism/bigotry/authoritarianism, or both. I don't think this sort of thing is very enlightening or helpful, even in a "understand how the other side thinks" sense - it doesn't really represent the views of the average Trump supporter.

Anti-Trump opinions from the right will probably just fuel your anger, but maybe they could point to a future where reasonable people unite to end this madness? I don't know.
posted by breakin' the law at 8:56 AM on November 17, 2016 [4 favorites]

Townhall dot com is where I go sometimes to boost my blood pressure.
posted by witchen at 9:06 AM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

Maybe RedState?
posted by chimpsonfilm at 9:09 AM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

A site that is not "similar in style and structure to Metafilter," but does generally meet the "thoughtful opinions and world views from intelligent people" requirement is E21, a policy site that "aim[s] to advance free enterprise, fiscal discipline, economic growth, and the rule of law ... in a manner that is accessible and engaging." However, it is generally more reflective of the Kasich wing than Trump wing of the party.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 9:11 AM on November 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

I gotta tell you. I went through this exercise several years ago, but trying to find the equivalent for The New Yorker. You know, where are the extremely thoughtful, diligent conservative writers who cite their sources and don't just go on breathless rants? Worked really hard. Asked lots of thoughtful people I knew to be Republican. Read a lot of garbage.

Daniel Larison is pretty much it, and he only writes against foreign-policy hawkishness and Republican buffoonery.

Michele Malkin is notable only for her cruelty.
Ann Coulter starts with untenable premises and spins outward into spitting rage.
Charles Krauthammer is intellectually dishonest in the same way that Scalia was.

I read RedState leading up to the election because they were pretty thorough about beating on the President-Elect, but now, they're back to "lol these Democratic protestors are stupid, get over it, make them pay for college" and a little bit of President-Elect schadenfreude.

When you look at the anti-elitism and "post-truth" trends in the rise of our President-Elect, it's not terribly surprising that there is no New Yorker for Republicans.
posted by radicalawyer at 9:28 AM on November 17, 2016 [9 favorites]

You can try reading /r/conservative and /r/republican on reddit. I dip into both of them occasionally, and their user bases are more reasonable than places like /r/the_donald. That isn't particularly hard, mind you, because /r/the_donald is full of completely batshit insane people. But there are some reasonable voices in the comments in both /r/republican and /r/conservative, so it's a bit easier to skim.
posted by colfax at 9:35 AM on November 17, 2016 [3 favorites]

not entirely right wing but there used to be good mix of left & right folks who had intelligent discussions about politics at the Hot Topics group on
They actually defend their positions with facts. There were some smack talkers on both sides but I learned to respect lots of the righties in the group. I know this isn't exactly what you're asking for but it may be worth a look-see.
posted by RichardHenryYarbo at 9:47 AM on November 17, 2016

I call myself a conservative (although the popular usage of the term diverges from the actual meaning that I'm using, but that's a pretty lonely fight for me and I don't expect my usage to actually ever become common), and I'll tell you: there aren't many.

The American Conservative is pretty much the only political site I visit on the right anymore. I especially like Rod Dreher's blog, even though we don't agree, because he's a pretty thoughtful guy. But I don't think anyone at TAC actually voted for Trump, so you'll be limited in how much you can actually learn about the president-elect there.

National Review used to be the standard bearer for conservatism, and used to be pretty intellectual. Neither is true any longer, as they've devolved into the general hysteria of other right-wingers, and, by opposing Trump, they've divorced themselves from the Republican party.

Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam used to have a pretty good site called the American Scene, but it stopped being fresh a long time ago, and it seems to be entirely offline now. Salam writes for a bunch of places now, notably Slate, while Douthat writes a column for the Times. Both are good and readable, but again, neither is a Trumpist. (David Brooks, the other Times conservative, is also worth a read.)

You might be noticing a pattern here. Almost no conservative intellectuals supported Trump (and the ones who did strain the definition of "intellectual"), so looking for the intellectual basis of Trumpism is going to be hard. Trumpism is, even by a looser definition than my own, not particularly conservative. A lot of his ideas are not shared by other Republicans (e.g., opposition to trade), and a lot of the people who voted for him do not usually vote Republican.

Younger, intellectual, less hysterical have tended to gravitate around the term "reform conservatism" recently, so you might try searching that.

As for message boards and forums, I'd advise you to just steer clear. Even as someone who agrees with a lot of what people say, conservative forums tend to get pretty ugly pretty fast. There are better ways to spend your life.

And of course, if you'd like to just ask me questions directly, I'd be happy to talk with you. As I mentioned, I'm kind of an idiosyncratic conservative, but I'm pretty well-versed in the various branches, and in the Republican party itself. Shoot me a MeMail if you'd like.
posted by kevinbelt at 9:51 AM on November 17, 2016 [22 favorites]

this thread on reddit is interesting, but i don't know of a sub that does what you want. there's change my view which you could use.

zero hedge is another right site with comments, but it's not like mefi (it can be interesting, but also somewhat unhinged).
posted by andrewcooke at 10:00 AM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

I spent quite a few hours reading r/TheDonald - do not do this. In their brief saner moments of self-awareness some people there have characterized it as "a permanent online Trump rally", which is at least accurate in terms of tone and general frenziedness. I learned a little more from ask trump supporters, which at least has some moderation guidelines and requires that both pro and anti Trump people treat each other with some measure of respect. While it's open to both sides, I've seen more interesting discussion happen there between disagreeing Trump supporters than anywhere else.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 10:26 AM on November 17, 2016

Hacker News isn't exactly right-wing, but political threads there (some recent examples) can give you a view into a certain analytical-techie Silicon Valley Libertarian perspective.
posted by panic at 10:29 AM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh, I forgot... Some other good right-leaning sites/magazines, even though they're not overtly political:

-The New Criterion (arts criticism)
-Claremont Review of Books (book reviews, broadly speaking - like a righty NYRB)
-The New Atlantis (science-y stuff)

These also won't give you much insight into Trump, but there's usually some pretty thought-provoking stuff that won't enrage you.
posted by kevinbelt at 11:06 AM on November 17, 2016

Like others have said, metafilter is fairly unique so it would be hard to find a direct analogue that's right wing. The closest thing in terms of having a lot of discussion and user-generated content would probably be 4/pol or 8/pol but those are radically different in structure and tone.

Some other media sites not yet listed:
Heat Street
The Rebel Media
The Federalist

I discovered most of these by subscribing to the RealClearPolitics main feed, they do a good job of presenting both left and right-leaning viewpoints.

I agree with the recommendation of ZeroHedge, it aggregates a lot of individual contributors you may find interesting but for god's sake don't read the comments... they are of no value whatsoever.
posted by unrulychild at 11:22 AM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

Unfortunately, my understanding is that Breitbart and the racist, sexist views there are exactly what the conservative wing that supports Trump is. It's important to understand that Trump has a lot of support from the "alt-right" which is a group that is basically white nationalist -- anti-immigration, anti-multiculturalism, anti-Muslim, anti-Jew, etc. -- and sees itself as being different than traditional conservatives. Indeed, a lot of old school conservatives oppose the "alt right" and a lot of them didn't support Donald Trump's run for president either.

I too have been curious and gone to Breitbart, found various prominent accounts on Twitter, etc. and it truly is a cesspool of coded, racist, anti-women garbage. That's just how it seems to be. Yesterday I watched a clip from an "alt right" "comedy" show on Adult Swim and it, well, wasn't funny, and clearly had pro-white, anti-women messages. It was pretty disturbing to me that a Time Warner Cable-owned channel would air that content. You could maybe look at /r/The_Donald on reddit where they seem to be less overt in their racism, but it's clearly pretty much a pro-white, pro-male sentiment there. (I will say, one other theme that seems to exist everywhere I've looked is they are very conspiratorial and believe some far-fetched conspiracies with little evidence.)

That's why so many liberals and moderates are so disturbed and alarmed by the election of Trump. This isn't an political ideology issue as it's been for the past few election cycles (as far back as I have been an adult, at least). It's not conservative vs. liberal or Republican vs. Democrat as we traditionally know it. White supremacist racists and misogynists love Donald Trump and are cheering him as one of their own in the White House. That's why we all can't normalize this and need to take it seriously.
posted by AppleTurnover at 12:31 PM on November 17, 2016 [3 favorites]

By far the best analogy to MeFi (focus on user-generated links and commentary thereupon, heavily moderated) is FreeRepublic. Its election night mega thread went around 10,000 posts and was basically the mirror image of MeFis, for example.

50k+ user sub-reddits are second best ... r/Conservative, r/the_Donald (ignore at your peril), r/TheRedPill etc.

Most of the other big conservative sites are driven by articles and posts written by site proprietors or professional writers/columnists/bloggers, but with very robust commenting. Whether they were #MAGA or #NeverTrump or in between, all interesting reads these days. Here's a short list of places that will get 100+ comments on pretty much any halfway interesting story:

AmericanConservative -- #NeverTrump
Breitbart -- #MAGA (isteve in particular) -- quietly #MAGA
NationalReview -- #NeverTrump
RedState -- #NeverTrump
ZeroHedge -- neutral (half politics, half finance)
VoxDay -- #MAGA (half politics, half the-only-good-SF-is-pre-SIASL-Heinlein SF)
Chateau Heartiste (mix of politics and atheist "red pill")
WallStreetJournal editorial section -- neutral to #NeverTrump (big paper, but silly to omit)
Dalrock (mix of politics and Christian "red pill")
Taki --#MAGA
posted by MattD at 1:36 PM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

> Breitbart is the main Trump supporter website.

> One problem you may run into is that right does necessarily equal pro-Trump.

> Unfortunately, my understanding is that Breitbart and the racist, sexist views there are exactly what the conservative wing that supports Trump is.

In the hope of heading this sort of thing off at the pass and encouraging useful answers: the poster said nothing to suggest that they are interested in a "Trump supporter" or "pro-Trump" website. The request was for websites "that are similar in style and structure to Metafilter, but that are frequented by conservatives and right wingers." Trump is only relevant in that his election inspired the question.
posted by languagehat at 1:50 PM on November 17, 2016 [4 favorites]

You are more likely to find what you are looking for by listening to talk radio. That's where conservatives tend to congregate to interact.
posted by tacodave at 2:17 PM on November 17, 2016

>In the hope of heading this sort of thing off at the pass and encouraging useful answers: the poster said nothing to suggest that they are interested in a "Trump supporter" or "pro-Trump" website. The request was for websites "that are similar in style and structure to Metafilter, but that are frequented by conservatives and right wingers."

The distinction between the alt-right conservativism and the more moderate old-school conservativism is an important thing for the asker (and everyone) to understand, especially as it relates to the current political climate and the movement we are seeing right now. Conservatives have differing views on Trump, but he is the most prominent "conservative" in the country at the moment, so it's worth addressing and "useful."
posted by AppleTurnover at 3:16 PM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

I've seen nothing like ask.metafilter for the right. Closest I've found are the transcripts containing listener calls for portions of Rush Limbaugh's radio show. Most segments start with a monologue, followed by calls. His call screener keeps off the show those who can't engage in civil conversation. It's not unusual for callers to hold different viewpoints. He even takes calls from those who are totally opposed to all he stands for. Non-subscribers can only access transcripts for most recent show.

> Breitbart ... a cesspool of racism and stupidity.
For some definitions of racism and stupidity. In general, the right believes the left redefines words for their political gain (Google search results), One may disagree with that view, but knowing their beliefs is necessary to understanding the right.

George Orwell predicted such use of language in the political satire 'Animal Farm', published in 1945. The novel is an allegory and satire of the 1917 Russian revolution and the Stalin era. After the animals took over the farm, they wrote a set of commandments for Animalism. One was "All animals are equal". After the pigs maneuvered their way into control, they modified it: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
posted by Homer42 at 6:22 PM on November 17, 2016

Chronicles and have some paleoconservatives. Ilana Mercer calls herself a paleolibertarian. Lew Rockwell. The Fleming Foundation has some free content. American Spectator, a sometimes hang for Ben Stein
posted by IndigoJones at 7:32 PM on November 17, 2016

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