In educational terms mainstream press coverage of the issue would be a public service giving the body politic the information it needs to decide whether or not current conservatism is fatally disingenuous. There have been some steps made towards getting the facts out. In a Washington Post op-ed (host.madison.com/ct/news/opinion/column/ej_dionne/article_dae62ff6-f91d-5971-a720-73c469e2f000.html) theolib Catholic E. J. Dionne Jr. got things rolling by pointing out that the Rand whose books so many theoconservatives treat as secular scripture was a flaming atheist. It's a start. But just a start. When covering the presidential campaigns of Perry, Bachmann and Ron Paul query them at the debates about how the policies they offer make them look a whole lot like social Darwinists, and start regularly using the label to tag them and their ideas. It is the journalistically accurate thing to do. So get with it all you mainstream pundits, journalists and reporters.
For it is one of the biggest stories of our times. It is just plain wrong that few Americans know that to a greater extent than in any other 1st world country national economics are being run in accord with the radical musings and writings of a small cult of theoreticians that ironically threatens to wreck the very scheme they adore, capitalism, by driving it into the ditch of extremist ideology. The angry middle class ought to know who to blame for the stagnation they are mired in -- the Rand, Mises and Hayek who condemn criticism of, or demand for sacrifice and fairness from, the upper crust as automatically pernicious.
There is another, related Golden Opportunity that the progressive cause is yet again failing to take anywhere near close to full advantage of. It's how a fast growing body of sociological research based on real world conditions is discrediting libertarian ideological theory by proving that it is the most secular sociocapitalist democracies that are enjoying the overall best socioeconomic circumstances in history, including lower rates of homicide, incarceration, juvenile and adult mortality, STD infections, abortion, teen pregnancy, mental illness, illicit drug use, and so on compared to the more libertarian USA, and superior levels of economic security, upward mobility and education. Among the evidence are papers by myself and Tom Rees in the appropriately named Journal of Religion and Society (Moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2005/2005-11.html; moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2009/2009-17.html), more by myself and Georges Delamontagne in Evolutionary Psychology (http://www.epjournal.net/filestore/EP07398441_c.pdf; http://www.epjournal.net/filestore/EP08617657_c.pdf), and Phil Zuckerman in Social Compass (click here). It's not like these ground breaking papers are a secret, but they have so far received only a modest level of press and media coverage. These scientific results should be standard fare trumpeted in occasional sessions on policy wonk Maddow's show, and regularly featured on Maher's Real Time. Plenty of us social researchers are ready and able to come on to the progressive shows and explain the great progressive success in an audience friendly manner. Seriously, the sociological data is on the side of progressivism, I just do not get this obvious public education failure of the left. Get your act together one this one.
Also being missed is the story on the rise of atheism in the conservative movement. Although the great majority of American nonsupernaturalists are progressives, the rapid growth of atheism in general -- we have quadrupled as a portion of the population since the 1960s according to Gallup stats, and doubled since the 1990s, means that the ungodly are becoming an increasing force within a right that has been dominated by theocons. And what, in particular, about David Koch? An arch libertarian alleged to have sunk big sums into right wing causes -- the Tea Party movement would probably not be what it is without his seed money and ongoing cash support -- Koch frequently works with hard core Christians. Yet there are claims that he is an atheist; he certainly has no problem with Darwinian science because he regularly funds major paleontological exhibits featuring bioevolution. That progressives and the press have failed to dig into this is just plain sloppy.
Finally, if you are an atheist fed up with conservative Christians prattling on about how communism is an evil device of atheist invention, next time one trots out this lie there is no need to resort to the tired defensive line that communism is itself a form of religion. Instead go on the offensive and throw the charge right back in their face by pointing out that the concept of socialism enforced by death is right there in the Christian gospels, that socialism is a Biblical invention, and the Holy Scriptures are actually for taxation without representation. Enjoy the theocon's deer in headlights look if it comes to pass. If you are a theoprogressive Christian who yet again has to put up with another damned conservative Christian who is prattling on about how the anti-socialist, pro-capital Holy Trinity has a preference for the profit acquiring individual throw your scriptures at them and show them up for the blaspheming heretics that they are.
And as for all you theocons, knock off blaming atheists for the socialist idea, it ain't ours.