It’s Still The Culture, Stupid!

Bill Whittle recently gave an impassioned speech on why Republicans/conservatives lost the 2012 election. His main argument was that our side won’t/can’t win future elections if we don’t REALLY believe in the ideals we profess.

According to Whittle, the lack of conviction stems, in part, from the party/movement suffering from a form of Stockholm Syndrome caused in large part by the long-term marinating effects of a popular culture that is dominated by their ideological rivals. So long as Democrats/liberals control the country’s culture, he asserts, they’ll control the country’s politics. To their credit, Democrats/liberals take culture a hell of a lot more seriously than do most Republicans/conservatives (who tend to view pop culture as disposable entertainment). Their activists – more so than our activists – have a critical approach to culture that informs their politics. As David Ray Papke observed in his research paper, “The Impact Of Popular Culture On American Perceptions Of The Courts” (2007) Faculty Publications:

I think Americans have to approach their popular culture more critically. After a hard day at the office or around the home, many of us just want popular culture to wash over us, removing our frustrations and disappointments and allowing us to escape, but, given the pervasiveness and influence of popular culture, this attitude is dangerous. Educators should teach us how to challenge our popular culture, and we should take those lessons to heart. When we are watching a television show or a DVD in our dens and family rooms, we should intellectually wrestle with what we are watching. Popular culture can actually be more entertaining and edifying if we critically examine it.

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