Talk:Essay:Conservatives of the Decade

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Top Ten Ranking

I suggest this top 10 ranking.

1. Rush Limbaugh: 20 million listeners, providing an alternative to liberal media bias.

2. Ann Coulter: While some on this list only emerged after Barack Obama's election, journalist and best-selling author Ann Coulter has been irritating liberals for over 10 years.

3. Tea Party Movement: They will be an influence over the next decade as well,or atleast until Obama's final days in office in January 2013. For the first time in 30 years there is a major grassroots conservative movement. You can thank them for preventing many liberal policies on capital hill.

4. Sarah Palin: One of the few elected Republican politicians that truly represents grassroots conservatives.

5. Glenn Beck: Helped expose ACORN and led the fight against many of the actions of the Obama administration that the media had first ignored.

6. Rudy Giuliani: I'm sure that many on Conservapedia disagree with his stance on abortion. However, he was the hero of 9/11, the most popular politician in America, and an elegant spokesman on the need for a strong national defense.

7. Dick Cheney: The chief spokesman for neoconservatism.

8. Ron Paul: A libertarian-Republican whose presidential campaign gained a cult following among young voters.

9. Samuel Alito: His appointment was one of the few excellent choices made by the Bush Administration during his second term.

10. Karl Rove: The architect of Republican victories in 2000, 2002, and 2004.

Honorable Mentions

-Chippeterson December 28, 2009

REPLY: Great choices, and this sparks interesting debate. If I may be so bold, I'd particularly disagree about Limbaugh (he has the numbers, but where's the evidence of influence?), Giuliani (all talk but no achievements except making NYC safer in the 90s, at a time when most cities were getting safer due to demographic changes; don't forget that Giuliani endorsed Mario Cuomo!), Rove (architect of the 2006 loses and a big reason for the complete wipeout in 2008 also, I'm afraid!). But everyone can have his own views about this!--Andy Schlafly 21:56, 28 December 2009 (EST)

In the interest of debate, I think anyone who has as many listeners as Limbaugh must be influential. Giuliani had significant achievements as Mayor of New York, just read his bio here on conservapedia. Giuliani endorsed Cuomo, but under that logic Reagan wouldn't have made the 80's list because he once endorsed FDR and Truman. Giuliani could make the list of top 10 conservatives of the 90's or 2000's. You have a point about Rove, he's done a lot of harm and good to conservatives since 2000. Chippeterson December 28, 2009

Rush is an outstanding conservative, but my opinion is that he was more influential in the 90's than the 2000's. DMorris 11:50, 29 December 2009 (EST)

Why is Sean Hannity only listed for an honorable mention considering his involvement in the Tea Party Movement, which is a top ten candidate? DMorris 11:54, 29 December 2009 (EST)

In my opinion, we should switch Giuliani and Huckabee. The latter is clearly more conservative, and had a much bigger impact in the 2008 election. DanL 12:16, 29 December 2009 (EST)

Matt Drudge?

More of a libertarian than a classic conservative, but his influence in ending the hegemony of the mainstream media has been substantial. --Benp 22:28, 28 December 2009 (EST)

"Pat Robinson"?

I don't know this conservative, and Google hasn't helped. Perhaps Pat Robertson was intended? --JimR 23:01, 28 December 2009 (EST)

Marco Rubio?

This is a top 10 list of conservatives of the last decade. Not just the most influential conservatives since Obama took office, but in 2001, 2002, 2003 etc. Nobody knew who Marco Rubio even was a few months ago, he shouldn't even make the Honorable Mentions. Chippeterson December 28, 2009


I think that the top ten should have at least 1 outsider and as a proud Australian I would nominate John Howard who was Prime Minister of Australia from 1996-2007 and is widely considered to be one of Australia's most conservative leaders who was known for his extensive tax reform and a prolonged period of economic growth while eliminating all of Australias public debt shortly before losing the election.

If anythihng he deserves an Honorable Mention for his excellent policies. Here watch this video to gain a basic understanding

General Petraeus

I'd like to recommend that he be bumped up to "Top Ten" candidate. While it's true that he hasn't sought the limelight or publicity, that's only befitting of an officer and a gentleman--and his role in waging the War on Terror has been critical. What say you all? --Benp 00:36, 29 December 2009 (EST)

The problem is nobody knows what his politcs are. For all we know he could be another Colin Powell. Chippeterson December 29, 2009

Trimming the List

There are some difficult choices to make here. However, there are a number of media figures on the list, and if we're talking about the most influential, I think the nod has to go to Rush. In a very real sense, he blazed the trail for others to follow. --Benp 10:56, 29 December 2009 (EST) a side note...while it surely reflects well on Andy's modesty that he consistently rejects attempts to put his name on the list, I think perhaps the students who have worked so hard to make Conservapedia a success deserve an honorable mention, for demonstrating the power and success of a very new approach to education. After all, they're the ones who are going to carry the torch of conservatism into the next decade and beyond. Thoughts? --Benp 11:07, 29 December 2009 (EST)

Glenn Beck

He's a hero in the Tea Party Movement, leads in the ratings, and is pretty an investigative reporter on the Obama administration. Why shouldn't he make the top 10? Chippeterson December 29, 2009

Adding Another Category

What does everybody think about adding the category "Liberals that aren't Annoying."

-Chippeterson December 29, 2009

Jon Stewart is pretty annoying, but I like the idea. JacobB 20:28, 29 December 2009 (EST)
I find several of those liberals VERY annoying. Plus I feel Bart Stupak should be in honorable mentions category. He singlehandedly stop taxpayer funder in the House (non-read) healthcare bill. If healthcare is to move forward, it will be without abortion funding. That is hero-like, herculean Conservative effort. --Jpatt 00:42, 30 December 2009 (EST)

His bill was the reason why healthcare passed the House, hardly a conservative hero. -Chippeterson December 30, 2009

I don't think you see the wider implications. His actions may save hundreds of thousands of innocent lives -or- his actions will derail the entire bill from passage -and- he may cave as typical liberals often do. Has he staked his career with lying Democrats? Did he vote for Obama? Hero may be too strong but if he defeats the health bill in its entirety, will you change your tune? --Jpatt 01:33, 30 December 2009 (EST)

Antonin Scalia

I think Justice Antonin Scalia should be at or near the top of the top ten. Early in the decade he identified and criticized the homosexual agenda, spoke out against the censorship of God and then, later in the decade, wrote the D.C. v. Heller decision establishing the true Second Amendment right to self-defense. He also provided key votes in Bush v. Gore and many other essential 5-4 decisions. Of course, Justice Clarence Thomas also has had an excellent record the entire decade.--Andy Schlafly 00:09, 30 December 2009 (EST)


(moved comments to this new section; first reference to "he" below is to Justice Scalia)

I agree that he deserves a spot in the top ten. There are a lot of worthy candidates--it's harder than I thought to narrow the list down to ten! I'd like to argue again for Rush Limbaugh to also be in the top ten. Without his influence, it's entirely possible that the other political commentators on the list would never have been able to get a foothold in the liberal-dominated media. Rush demonstrated that the market for conservatism is huge. His influence remains strong, as demonstrated by the way he took Michael Steele to task and the fact that he came out on top of the poll asking who is the main voice of the Republican Party. --Benp 11:13, 30 December 2009 (EST)
I have an open mind about this, and obviously there will be disagreements. But Limbaugh seems best at promoting ... Limbaugh. Some observe that he tends to "dumb down" what has traditionally been an intellectual conservative movement. Relatively few young people, particularly college-educated ones, listen to Limbaugh; he rarely appears at genuine conservative conferences; and his personal life does not seem as conservative as others on the list. It is difficult to identify a single insight or initiative Limbaugh has had in 20 years that has made a significant difference. Can you think of any?--Andy Schlafly 11:38, 30 December 2009 (EST)
You certainly have a valid point, Andy, but I believe you could make the same argument for some of the other commentators on the list. I can't, for instance, think of any specific conservative insights that Ann Coulter has provided. Nor am I sure that's the role of a figure like Limbaugh or Coulter. I would suggest that their role is more in letting individual conservatives know that they have a voice, that they're not alone, and that they're not the only ones who see the hypocrisy and censorship practiced by liberals. At the same time, they infuriate liberals, and goad them into making mistakes.
Is that a valuable enough role to merit inclusion on the top-ten list? Perhaps not. If so, we might want to consider paring down the lists on that you yourself have pointed out, we have a lot of names to eliminate and not a lot of time in which to do it. In the interest of moving things along, I acknowledge your valid arguments against Limbaugh, and withdraw my suggestion concerning him.
I'm not totally comfortable using personal life as a standard, though, just because so much of what we hear about conservatives' personal lives is distorted by the liberal media. Consider Rush's struggle with addiction to painkillers, and how much mean-spirited mockery it generated from the left--or how many crude and vulgar attacks have been directed at Coulter simply because she's not married and has dated a variety of men. On the other hand, conservative sources tend not to focus on gossip about one's personal life. --Benp 12:42, 30 December 2009 (EST)
There can certainly be reasonable disagreements about this list! You make many valid points, Ben, and I think continuing this discussion a bit longer could be illuminating to many of us.
Ann Coulter does appear at genuine conservative conferences, while Limbaugh does not. That speaks volumes in itself. Also, Coulter's books are at a high level and have been influential, while I can't think of something comparable from Limbaugh, despite having more time and money to do so. There is also an element of self-promotion in Limbaugh's work that doesn't taint Coulter's (or Malkin's) work. Note that Limbaugh seems to get into spats with people potentially on the conservative side, while Coulter gets into spats only with the other side.--Andy Schlafly 13:37, 30 December 2009 (EST)

We can give media celebrities like Rush and Coulter some recognition as communicators and popularizers. Both gave voice to many important conservative ideas, despite real (or perceived) personal flaws.
Of course, what we all want is a Leader who emerges as the Best of the public and initiates a movement for positive change. So far, I'm unaware of any author or talk-show host who can fill those shoes. --Ed Poor Talk 13:39, 30 December 2009 (EST)
I have to agree. For all that conservative talk-show types and authors do to spread the conservative message and fight liberal media, there is too often a certain amount of self-promotion and a lack of original thinking (that in itself isn't a failure. We typically don't expect the communicators to be the innovators as well). I would not put Coulter, Beck, Limbaugh, or Malkin in the top, but would promote figures like James Dobson and Jerry Falwell, who have done astounding amounts of work to create grassroots campaigns, disseminate information, develop conservative ideas, etc. DouglasA 17:43, 30 December 2009 (EST)
Even many of us CP contributors may have little or nothing original to contribute. But restating and organizing the well-expressed thoughts of others is also valuable. It may even be the essence of what an encyclopedia is supposed to be. --Ed Poor Talk 18:09, 30 December 2009 (EST)
Absolutely, and that's exactly what we should consider when determining not just great conservatives, but conservatives of the decade. DouglasA 19:00, 30 December 2009 (EST)

To be fair, one must remember that Limbaugh self-identifies as an entertainer, first and foremost. While an artful and articulate spokesperson for orthodox conservatism, he doesn't claim to have the intellectual force of a Bill Buckley or Bob Bennet. That said, he does, IMO, deserve to be on the list, if for nothing else other than his proven ability to motivate Americans to focus on key issues and elections, in his role as a media person.

I have added a person to the list. Although some might find it provocative, I would only argue that he still continues to influence, and steer the public debate in our society as much as he ever did. --ṬK/Admin/Talk 19:20, 30 December 2009 (EST)

My Final Recommendations

Chippeterson December 30, 2009

That's an interesting list, Chippeterson. You may be right. Who can know for sure? For my part, I think your list overemphasizes the influence of the conservative media. I greatly appreciate nearly everyone on your list, and your edits too, but I can't honestly say whether most conservative pundits help or hurt the movement. I am sure, however, that Proposition 8, good Supreme Court decisions, and activism by Sarah Palin help our nation and our movement.--Andy Schlafly 22:17, 30 December 2009 (EST)

O.K., working with your top 5 picks, how's this?

Chippeterson December 31, 2009

How does this sound? My thinking is that good SCOTUS decisions have been our last redoubt from the secular-progressives, so the three Justices should be on it. What about John Roberts? As Chief Justice, surely he is instrumental in holding together the conservatives on the court, right? Glenn Beck? Has he been around on the national scene long enough to make the list, or does length of time matter? My reason for making Justice Thomas #1 should be obvious; he is the most hated by liberals because he is both Black and conservative, is highly effective behind the scenes at the court, and he takes his vacations tooling around ingognito with his wife in an RV, meeting the people. [1]

--ṬK/Admin/Talk 02:31, 31 December 2009 (EST)

Good suggestions. Doing an analysis now on opinions by Thomas, Scalia and Alito, will start a section for that below. I wonder whether Ron Paul AND the Tea Party Movement earn two spots in the top six for the ENTIRE decade. Glenn Beck is late on the scene ... perhaps the next decade? But obviously there is room for disagreement here.--Andy Schlafly 09:45, 31 December 2009 (EST)

Three Justices

From 2000 to present:

opinions for the Court by Justice Scalia: 88
Significant decisions include:
  • D.C. v. Heller, establishing an individual right to bear arms under the Second Amendment
  • United States v. Gonzalez-Lopez, establishing a right to an automatic reversal of a conviction (even without a showing of prejudicial error) if there was any denial of right to counsel (Justice Thomas dissented)
  • Rapanos v. United States, limiting definition of "wetlands" to limit jurisdiction of federal govt over property
  • Merck KGaA v. Integra Lifesciences I, Ltd., limiting patent rights by allowing the use of patented compounds in preclinical studies as long as there is a reasonable basis for believing that the experiments will produce "the types of information that are relevant to an IND or NDA" in drug applications to the FDA.
  • Blakely v. Washington, invalidating increase in punishment based on facts not proven at trial allowed by state sentencing guidelines but going beyond statutory limits; had effect of weakening sentencing guidelines
  • Vieth v. Jubelirer, declaring political gerrymandering challenges to be non-justifiable and thereby limiting court jurisdiction
  • Crawford v. Washington, reestablishing the constitutional right by defendants to confront witnesses against them in court, rather than simply reading testimonial statements by accusers
  • Kyllo v. United States, requiring a warrant before using thermal imaging technology to detect the growing of marijuana plants inside homes
  • Alexander v. Sandoval, establishing that there is no private cause of action to enforce regulations prohibiting discriminatory conduct by recipients of federal funds (this lawsuit attempted to invalidate English-only drivers license tests in Alabama) - followed in 2546 cases, plus 24 distinguishing.
  • Cal. Democratic Party v. Jones, invalidating as a violation of freedom of association a California law requiring political parties to allow voting by any voter in their primaries
Other opinions by Justice Scalia for the Court include a decision against mandatory collection of certain types of dues in Washington State, and an opinion on free speech in judicial campaigns.

opinions for the Court (and key concurrences) by Justice Thomas: 80
  • Good News Club v. Milford Central School (2001), limiting application of the Establishment Clause to its constitutional basis and holding in favor of free speech rights for religious expression; picked up Justice Breyer as a sixth vote in this important area; followed in 1065 cases, plus 26 distinguishing.
  • National Cable & Telecommunications Assn. v. Brand X Internet (2005), establishing the "hands off" policy for the FCC with respect to the internet, in affirming the free-market approach taken by the Bush Administration (Justice Scalia dissented on formalistic grounds)
  • wrote a concurrence to Justice Scalia's Court opinion in Johanns v. Livestock Mktg Ass'n, emphasizing that "The government may not, consistent with the First Amendment, associate individuals or organizations involuntarily with speech by attributing an unwanted message to them, whether or not those individuals fund the speech, and whether or not the message is under the government's control."
  • Great Opinions by Thomas: Mitchell v. Helms, Good News Club v. Milford Central School, City of Indianapolis v. Edmond.
  • Opinions by Justice Thomas [3]
  • The Courage of His Convictions [4]

opinions for the Court by Justice Alito: 26 (much fewer than the otehrs due to his shorter tenure)

(please add to analysis--Andy Schlafly 09:45, 31 December 2009 (EST))

Coaltion of the Willing

I understand that conservapedia is at first an American project. And as a wiki, it is naturally obsessed with pop culture. So it's no surprise that many of the candidates are American media persona (who may influence greatly the American public opinion, but are of negligent impact for the rest of the world.)

What about some real politicians who stood to America's Coalition of the Willing in 2003 though this wasn't popular in their countries? Jose Maria Aznar? Anders Fogh Rasmussen?

Such names would add some substance.

FrankC aka ComedyFan 12:18, 31 December 2009 (EST)


Two questions that I think will prove problematic in this page as an objective source of reporting:

1. How is conservatism defined? Who defines it? Do you count social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, or must one be both? Do conservative Democrats count as well?

2. What are the non-subjective factors for determining prominence? The page for example says, "The criterion would presumably be the best and longest lasting influence." Okay... but how is that determined? Do you find estimates for audiences reached? And if so, what objective 3rd party group will be used for those estimates? Do you find some sort of point rating system for conservatism? And if so, whose system should be used, and why?

My point is that I think you're getting into a whole can of worms here. The whole thing will come across as subjective and a Conservapedia popularity contest if objective measures of definition can't be found. --Jzyehoshua 12:45, 31 December 2009 (EST)

I think the community can find a consensus on "prominence", after all prominence is based on public perception. Objective elements are really not necessary.--Wuhao1911 13:30, 31 December 2009 (EST)
There is subjectivity along with objectivity in much of academics and other intellectual pursuits. But the existence of subjectivity (amid objectivity) is not an excuse for abandoning analysis.--Andy Schlafly 13:43, 31 December 2009 (EST)

Sarah Palin???

Really people? Sarah Palin for Conservative of the Decade? She's been around for one and a half years, not nearly long enough to be considered for the entire decade. She could be conservative of the year, but decade? Absolutely not. --Jvasile 15:17, 31 December 2009 (EST)

The more liberals complain, the more Americans like her. By the way, Sarah Palin did exist before you knew about her.  :-).--Andy Schlafly 17:49, 31 December 2009 (EST)

Top 10 Contenders

So we have 12 people in the top 10 contenders category. I think the two that can be taken out are Michele Bachmann (she's only been in Congress since 2007) and Samuel Alito (he's only been on the Supreme Court since 2006, and we have two Justices on the list already). -Chippeterson December 31, 2009

Liberals that aren't annoying?

I always thought the only good liberal was a... well, you know what I mean, and not literally. DMorris 16:56, 31 December 2009 (EST)

Snow in Florida

Umm, it does snow down here in Florida. Maybe not as much as up north, but we've had some, and I live in Central Florida. --SharonW 19:21, 28 August 2011 (EDT)