We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
To what extent do the conservative bloggers and readers just talk to each-other? And don't the DailyKos folks do the same? Is anyone influenced or convinced? Doubtful.
But maybe at the margins. After all, Rush gave voice to millions of people who thought the way he did, but had no outside reinforcement for what they felt. The success of FOX news is the same - a crappy news program yet semi-entertaining if you have something else to do at the same time - but folks want to feel represented in the national dialogue. They need validation. Humans always want that - to not feel invisible.
People enjoy information too, or they wouldn't be wasting time online - except for porn, or check-paying, or email, apparently. We are all yentas at heart. But people also want reinforcement - a feeling of community.
The MSM takes care of the liberals, so the conservatives need all of these "alternative" outlets to feel reassured that they aren't out to lunch. There is no comparison between the numbers of traditionalist blogs and leftist blogs - and no comparison in their quality and intelligence (our blog excepted - it's not intelligent and is of low-quality...but ya like it, dontcha?).
So I dunno. One thing I do know for sure - when new info is made widely available by blogs, it makes a difference in the "real news." Powerline has had true power, run as it is by three extraordinary Dartmouth fellows. But how do you reach other folks, to help them open up their closed minds? I do not have the answer to that one.
Wish I did. One idea: Let's do an LBO of the NYT, and bring it balance! We will need a few very big players to do this deal...and the Sulzbergers must be bored with their toys by now.