Radio broadcaster and pastor Carl McIntire was instrumental to the formation of the Christian Right because he popularized his beliefs to a mainstream level. While McIntire was extremely far-right and the majority of those on the right did not agree with most of what he said, he was able to bring a level of attention to the right and their ideals that had not been seen previously. McIntire used radio to promote his anti-communist, anti-civil rights, and religious views to reach millions of people in the process. In the process he used the attention he got from his court cases and how he believed he was being silenced by the FCC. McIntire believed he was being silenced by the FCC for voicing his political opinions because he was one of the first major right wing radio publications that was popular nationwide. When he was sued for not following the Fairness Doctrine he argued that he was only being persecuted because of the beliefs that he publicized not for not following the rule. Despite him losing the case, he gained more popularity for continuing to voice his beliefs after losing. McIntire’s popularity helped lead to the formation of the Christian Right by increasing the right’s following and its political views to religion.
Neo-evangelicalism was important to the rise of the “conservative consensus” in U.S. politics because it attached a group of people following the religion to a political party which got them voters and advocators. Neo-evangelicals separated themselves from traditional evangelicals, and attached themselves to the far-right, to help establish the “conservative consensus”. The rise of neo-evangelicalists meant the rise of their beliefs, which were typically conservative and incredibly politically active and vocal. They voiced their opinions and gained popularity in the media and news. The group gained momentum as they took away members from separatists and as “left social policies” began to rise within the U.S. As the group gained more members across the nation, the growth of their beliefs rose as well creating the “conservative consensus”.
Prior to this article I had never heard of Carl McIntire or about any of what he did before. He gained conservative ideals a lot of popularity and movement and seemed like an important cause to the rise of conservatism. He captured the attention of millions, and for better or worse was able to effectively spread his message. The article described him in a way that in my mind matched a lot of what I imagine today’s modern conservative podcasts hosts are like.
One thought on “Rise of the far-right”
I totally agree with your last paragraph; I, too, hadn’t known anything about McIntire before reading this article. The parallels between McIntire and some of the podcasts today are insane. I think it shows how much influence anyone can have with a microphone. Also, I think McIntire has parallels to Fox News. Overall, it’s interesting to see what media people consume and its effect. Our availability to media has done nothing but expand with smartphones. When I was in high school, we did a project to create a social media account for different people in history. I was always fascinated by what some historical characters would post. In this case, it might be frightening to see what McIntire would post.