Who Listens to Conservative Talk Radio?

by John Spritzler

July 2, 2018

Many good and decent people listen to conservative talk radio and not liberal NPR. We can win over most of these people to egalitarian revolution. But only if we converse with them respectfully and make it clear that their (most of them, not all of them!) core values are shared by egalitarians and actually rejected (in practice, if not in rhetoric) by the conservative talk radio hosts. I discuss this here and here and here and here (this last article focuses on the issue of free loading because conservative talk radio hosts tell their audiences that people who say they are for economic equality really are just pro-free-loader and that is why they always say that "[fill in the blank] is the right of all.")

Here are links to some facts about talk/news radio (the very large majority of which is conservative talk radio) listenership: 

There are about 50 million listeners: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/ economy/news/2007/07/10/3297/ talk-radio-by-the-numbers/

Only 54% have a annual household income above $50,000. 22% are black. "Thirty-five percent of the listeners of news/talk radio over 25 have graduated from college. Interestingly, this includes a significant number of workers categorized as 'blue collar.'" Many listeners don't agree with the host on some topics.http://www.talkers.com/2011/10/20/ qualitative-aspects-of-the-talk-radio-aud iences/

From reading these and other online descriptions of conservative talk radio listeners, it seems that they are typically characterized as "relatively wealthy," well educated, politically active as voters and in community affairs; they are essentially what some would call the "middle class." 

Any movement to remove the ruling plutocracy from power needs to have the support (active or at least passive) of most of these people. Any movement that aims to remove the ruling plutocracy from power but which views these people with contempt rather than viewing them as potential allies to be won over with respectful persuasion, is doomed to fail. Those who view these middle class people with contempt know this, intuitively if not explicitly, and they draw the only logical conclusion (again intuitively if not explicitly), which is that there is no force that can remove the ruling plutocracy from power, and hence the best that one can hope to accomplish is to nudge one wing of the ruling plutocracy to at least make things a tiny bit better. 

This explains why radicals who understood perfectly well that Bernie Sanders's positions avoided even hinting at removing the ruling plutocracy from power (and fully backed Israel's racist ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, a.k.a. "Israel's right to exist") nevertheless dived into the Bernie presidential campaign with as much enthusiasm as the most dedicated Bernie Bro: they had no hope in building a truly massive movement of a majority of Americans and so they had no choice but to put their hope in a U.S. senator, sigh.





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