It’s that time of year again. It’s the time when activist conservative Americans make an annual pilgrimage to Washington, D.C. for what has become a political ritual of sorts. It’s the American Conservative Union’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference
. And at this event the CPAC Blogger of the Year Award is given to a practicing blogger for their distinguished service to the Conservative Movement throughout their career.
Each year, this now prestigious honor is presented to a conservative member of the online universe who has advanced conservative principles, provoked thought and influenced countless opinion leaders, peers and fellow conservatives. Past recipients have included Ace of Spades, Steve Gilbert, Ed Morrissey and Javier Manjarres of The Shark Tank. This year, there is no shortage of deserving contenders but for me, there exists one blogger who deserves the honor more than most. It is Maggie Thornton of the blog, Maggie’s Notebook.
Maggie’s Notebook is a wonderfully entertaining mix of social and political news that has a way of sourcing everything back to the conservative principles that lie at the heart of CPAC.
The CPAC event itself is comprised of some of the conservative movement’s most influential thinkers, leaders, and opinion shapers, each of which offer, workshops, presentations, and speeches that inspire truly dedicated conservatives in a way that reinforces their faith in their ideology and renews their committment to advancing its cause. The event is one part battle cry, one part planning, and another part patriotism. It involves a call to arms of sorts. Here, right leaning activists are united with the Constitution in their head and a sledgehammer in their heart and the thinking behind the Constitution inspires them to take a passionate swing of that sledgehammer in an attempt to dismantle aspects of the behemoth federal bureaucracy that have exceeded their constitutional authority and in many cases have authority that is not even allowed by the Constitution of the United States.
As is the case with all things political, not everyone always agrees on exactly what is the right course of action on every issue. However, as speech after speech is made and issue after issue is discussed, the light shed upon the political ideologies behind the policies of our government, reinforces the belief of those gathered together, that any conservative roadmap to prosperity for our nation and its people, does not involve any left turns.
But when all is said and done, after the speeches have ended, the discussions have been exhausted, the conservative cause has been reinvigorated , and the forces are fired up, there remains a unique battalion of conservative commandos whose job it is to make sure that the words spoken at CPAC continue to echo across the nation. They are conservatives bloggers.
Bloggers have become an integral part of the political infrastructure that develops and communicates political ideas and trends. These dedicated thinkers help shed light on that which the mainstream media is not willing to publicize because it either is not sensational enough to meet their “if it bleeds it reads standards”, or because it conflicts with their own interests or the interests of the media moguls and barons behind the writers who serve at their discretion. Yet in the close-knit community known as the blogosphere, word travels fast and so when one little known blogger reports on their small town’s policy to pay their schools superintendent a whopping three quarter of million dollar severance pay settlement in addition to a $120,000 salary in annual retirement benefits, it has a way of rapidly becoming an infuriating example of outrageous liberal excess and wasteful spending that gets held up as evidence everywhere from Keansburg, New Jersey to Bell, California.
Bloggers not only help influence opinions, in many ways they have taken control of the agenda.
Today, being a journalist who makes a living by writing for the major daily papers or television, cable, and radio outlets, means starting the day by checking blogs for a story or an angle that their mainstream competitors have not already dissected and disseminated with enough repetition to prompt widespread spontaneous public regurgitation of the facts and the myriad of conclusions that can be drawn from it.
Then there is another aspect of control the blogosphere has been able to take credit for. When the media is unwilling to police itself, the blogosphere is there to it do for them.
Thanks to the blogosphere, when a New York Times reporter named Jayson Blair fabricated stories and sources in order to sensationalize true events, several independent bloggers relentlessly reported about the scandal. Other bloggers picked up on it and soon an undercurrent of internet information created a firestorm which the mainstream media could not ignore and soon the Jayson Blair incident became a widely recognized scandal that ended with the ousting of New york Times editor-in-chief, Howell Raines.
So bloggers make a big difference. Collectively, if armed with the facts and with well articulated arguments, responsible bloggers can achieve just about any political change they desire. If the conservative blogosphere saw fit to make sure that John Boehner was not reelected to another term as Speaker of the House, you could count on the next President of the United States having to contend with Speaker Eric Cantor.
Which is why the Blogger of the Year Award is a very important highlight of the CPAC gala and why Maggie Thornton deserves the honor .
While there is a countless number of dedicated conservative bloggers, there are numerous factors that limit the number of individual blogs and bloggers who are truly worthy of being distinguished with this honor. Some of those factors include accuracy, support of the facts, style, and the ability to take real events and articulate them in a way that makes it clear why conservative thinking is superior to that of the left. All of this makes a conservative blog good, and the better the blog, the more readers it attracts. The more readers it attracts, the more widespread the dissemination of the opinions articulated in that blog become. And when it comes to Maggie’s Notebook, the conservative opinion is advanced by leaps and bounds.
In addition to providing links to everything from our founding documents and votes on specific legislation as well as such things Essential Sources, data on the elections for President/VP 2012, U.S. Senate 2012, and US House of Representatives 2012, along with links relating to Primary and Caucus Debates, and even a special heading for the growing Fast & Furious scandal, Maggie Thornton provides readers with a myriad of topical tales relating to society and politics, that consistently ties everything back to a presentation of evidence that supports how conservative thinking lifts all boats.
Through her writing, Maggie Thornton consistently illustrates how conservatism is that which represents the fundamentals which make us a constitutional republic and how liberal ideology retards our nation and holds back our people. And she does so in a way that holds both conservatives and liberals accountable to our founding principles. She encapsulates an overriding message of liberty that is designed to point out the type of nation that America is meant to be, and the type of nation which it will become if we continue to adopt watered-down Republican conservatism and full-blown liberal-socialism.
For these reasons, I have proudly nominated Maggie Thornton for CPAC Blogger of the Year. Through Maggie’s Notebook, Ms. Thornton epitomizes the best of America as an individual and the best of the blogosphere with her blog. She proves that in America, the power can rest with the people, for here is one woman who armed with knowledge, a keyboard, and a passion for civic responsibility, can make a difference. And Maggie has made a difference. A difference that requires a steady stream of committment to her site that accounts for a steady flow of new, daily content that is timely and topical. Such committment requires sacrifice and dedication and for Maggie it pays off. According to Alexa, the leading provider of free, global web metrics which provides analytics for competitive analysis, benchmarking, market research, or business development, Maggiesnotebook.com has a three-month global Alexa traffic rank of 160,578 but in the United States is ranked #41,626. That may not seem like much but using White House 2012 as an example of an average blog, the Alexa rating system used for Maggie’s Notebook gives White House 2012 a worldwide ranking of 3,442,023, and a U.S. traffic rank of 394,665.
Ordinarily, those numbers would make me want to close up shop on White House 2012, but our stats are really not that bad when you consider how prolific blogging has become.
According to several internet tracking outlets more tha 196 million people “have started a blog” and last year over 368 million people have read blogs. One source cited figures showing that “nine blogs are created every minute and 2.3 content updates are posted every second”. Of course more than a quarter of those blogging ventures go abandoned in a matter of weeks and more than half go dormant within six months. However, they still remain lumped in with thew global and national internet ranking systems as they continue to be stumbled upon in cyberspace. So those statistics provide some solace for me when it comes to White House 2012’s traffic, but it says all the more for success of Maggie’s Notebook. Clearly the ranking of Maggie Thornton’s conservative blog is a great measure of success and evidence that not only is she getting the conservative message out, but people keep coming back for more.
So if you happen to be a certified CPAC blogger at this week’s conference in D.C., do us all a favor and cast your vote for Maggie’s Notebook. Not only is it an outstanding blog, it is a source of inspiration for bloggers everywhere who hope to someday be able to look back and say, “I made a difference through my writing.”. Maggie Thornton certainly has!
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