5. Modern media favors perception over reality, charisma over intelligence, and personality over character. Republicans remain the party dominated by reality, intelligent reason, and high character; they lose.
While many conservatives tend to focus entirely on leftist media bias as the primary reason Republicans lose so many public-perception contests, this is actually only a fraction of the far more serious problem.
The bedrock problem isn’t bias. Opinion research demonstrates again and again that Americans have been exceptionally resilient against vigorous liberal indoctrination on some fundamental issues. With a near-complete media bias promoting abortion “rights,” the American public remains a nation favoring legalized abortion only under certain circumstances or not at all. With a 150-year bombardment by academia promoting the theory of godless evolution — pure Darwinism — Americans are defiantly pro-God as the divine “designer.” With a 40-year attack on the institution of marriage, a bare majority of voters in the past few years has come to favor same-sex unions sanctioned by the state. Christianity is routinely bashed in liberal media, yet 78.4% of Americans still self-identify as Christian. Bias isn’t winning nearly as many arguments as is widely assumed.
It isn’t merely liberal bias that’s helping Democrats but the very medium in which ideas are spread to vast numbers of Americans. Whether it is television news or entertainment, or whether movies or music or even the magazine format, national arguments take place more and more impersonally in formats given to dramatic license. Today there is less and less face-to-face among friends and family. The more we have shifted as a society towards mass media, the more politics has become a popularity contest instead of a fair fight of ideas.
Democrats first recognized the power of the medium when young, charismatic John F. Kennedy debated old, gnarly Richard Nixon on television in 1960. Since that very day, it has been entirely necessary for Republicans to field candidates with not only real substance, intelligence, and character, but also the hard-to-define charisma that translates to popular appeal. But Republicans often ignore this essential demand of the modern era and put forth candidates who don’t stand a chance in the media spotlight.
It is simply no longer enough to be reality-based, intelligent, and moral. To win, modern Republicans must have it all, including media presence and charisma.
But liberal bias does stack the deck profoundly towards Democrats being able to field candidates with none of the essential reality, intelligence, and high character, as long as they possess the façade of charisma. Hence, we have President Barack Obama, in large part because his opponent possessed no media skills whatsoever.
This is reality. And Republicans must adhere to it or perish.