Rush: Conservative Credibility Absent In Pop Culture – And That’s A Problem


How is it that conservatives dominate talk radio, nonfiction book sales and, in large measure, network news (largely because of the Fox News juggernaut) – yet can’t mount a successful National political campaign to place even a nominal conservative in the White House?

Rush Limbaugh observes that conservatives – especially real conservatives – have no credibility among consumers of more overtly entertainment-oriented mass media. Movies, music, scripted television, fiction writing – that sort of thing.

In short, conservatism’s first-sight glance isn’t cool.

It’s true that many people who gobble up the low-hanging fruit provided by the Miley Cyruses and Michael Bays of the world aren’t interested in the authentic “coolness” of living a life guided by rugged adherence to a conservative code. Personal discipline is tough and doesn’t pay instant dividends the way mindless consumption does. After all, it’s a lot easier to kick back with a pizza and cheer for (or against) Nick Saban’s well-oiled machine on Saturdays than to spend that same time cultivating a talent of your own; one that could allow you the chance to become a well-oiled machine in your own endeavors.

But not everything about conservatism is inherently incompatible with consumer culture. And there’s no reason why the too-often clumsy aesthetics attached to conservative media appearances (have you seen the fit of Rand Paul’s suits?) have to stick out with such conspicuous awkwardness. A good book isn’t harmed by having a beautiful cover, and that’s a message Limbaugh drives home:

How do elections happen the way they do? We own books; we own talk radio; we own cable news. Well, the answer is, we’re nowhere in the pop culture. We are nowhere in movies. We’re nowhere in television shows.  We are nowhere in music. Nowhere!

That’s a slight exaggeration. Somebody’s watching Duck Dynasty, and there are plenty of people out there who like Ted Nugent’s music. But Limbaugh’s general message is right on target.


Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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