I do consume right-wing media – I read news.com.au as much as abc.net.au, and their chief ratbag, Bolt, more than many left wing blogs – but, to be honest, the reason is not because there’s a hope in hell of being persuaded by anything they argue. It’s more because they’re endlessly provocative blog fodder; because it seems important to be aware of what they’re selling to the gullible people who believe them.
It occurs to me that that’s not really all that open-minded. If I’m genuine in being challenged in my views, I should find some honest, reliable news sources to the right of me – but not so far to the right that they become mere spectacles to be derided. Just because someone has a more authoritarian, religious-based approach to social issues doesn’t mean that they’re of a sort with the shamelessly disingenuous smear-merchants I regularly decry. Likewise with someone who has a strong belief in the magic of the unfettered free market, the sanctity of the corporate form, and the villainy of the public sector. Decent human beings can, I guess, genuinely adopt these approaches whilst still being actually honest and fair and open to reasonable discussion.
But I can’t think of any such right-wingers. All the ones that come to mind are the same people who have repeatedly demonstrated that there are no depths to which they won’t sink. All of the ones I’ve tackled have revealed themselves to be the sort of people who will try to destroy an opponent’s personal life and offline professional life, purely because they disagree with them. The honest right, the right that could perhaps genuinely challenge our ideas, with whom we could engage in civilised, friendly debate, is being drowned out by the repulsive polemical right, to the point where I can’t actually put a name to the former.
Any ideas who I should be reading?