Though the endless limitations in terms of content of independent media has allowed for the rise of such white nationalist, alt-right outlets as Breitbart, it has also provided a space for conservative outlets that take a more realistic, analytical, and thoughtful approach to news reporting through a conservative lens than right-leaning mainstream outlets like Fox News do. These independent outlets include blogs like William Jacobson’s Legal Insurrection and the National Review magazine. Analyzing the political world through a conservative and legal lens, outlets such as these are critical to efforts to sustain a meaningful and democratic debate across the political spectrum.
Jacobson said he got the idea to start his blog by having a politically-charged conversation with liberal relatives, who while they did not necessarily agree with his conservative viewpoint, said that they had never heard the other side explained more clearly and convincingly. Now, his blog adds a necessary critique of left-wing arguments that, like any opinion, should remain consistently in check. Jacobson’s background in law enables his arguments to be rooted in existing structures rather than mentalities like nationalism or white supremacy.
I despise Breitbart and the fact that independent means of producing media have given rise to it. I also despise that Breitbart has actually become more mainstream and has been embraced my mainstream outlets like Fox and even typically center-left outlets like MSNBC and CNN. And now, even our president-elect and his administration embraces the narratives put forward by Breitbart, and even its leaders. But the fact that independent media has allowed for the establishment of true conservative sites like Legal Insurrection, which actually reflect the more fundamental and justified ideals of Republicanism, makes me hopeful that we can still have meaningful democracy and debate in this country.