Politics is downstream from culture. The late Andrew Breitbart said many things, but that pithy phrase, in particular, is arguably the one that sticks in the mind the most. This is not only because it’s short, clever, and easy to remember, but because it’s demonstrably true.
As a radio show host with a political bent, I’ve always had a penchant for finding myself leaning away from what’s happening in Washington D.C. to focus on what’s happening in Hollywood, California. I’ve always looked at Washington as a symptom, not the disease itself, and while we bicker about AOC’s latest gaffe, the infection has been growing.
I’m not going to waste time giving you all the ways the entertainment industry attempts to program the minds of the populace through leftist messages both subtle and overt. Not only have I covered this ad nauseam, but you’ve also likely seen examples I haven’t. It’s not at all uncommon, and keeping up with every script, celebrity outburst, and cause that comes out of Hollywood would require a full-time job.
The point is, the left owns the culture. While we battle tooth and nail in Washington, we’re charging up the hill, not down it. The wind is not on our backs. Almost every inch of ground we take, we took out of sheer will and determination, a leftist tripping themselves up, or pure luck. If we stopped fighting today, we’d slide back down the hill, but that wouldn’t be entirely true for the left.
They’re more than just a political arm in D.C., and they’ve been smart enough to understand that real power comes first from convincing the heart and then the mind in that order. This is something Breitbart knew, and it’s something that the right has been far too slow to catch up on.
If you want the latest proof, then just look at the recent debacle that was the eighth season of Game of Thrones. So angry are people about this once great show becoming a horrid mess of bad writing and ridiculous storytelling that a petition was created to remake the eighth season without the show’s current writers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff. As of my first writing on it last Thursday, it had 480,000 signatures.
It now has nearly 1.3 million and doesn’t show signs of stopping.
People are upset, and rightfully so. No one loves a good story ruined. That said, the amount of people willing to take the time to sign a petition over a show is far more than those willing to sign a petition to help or hinder Planned Parenthood. More people are interested in the fate of Westoros than what Bernie Sanders plans to do with the tax code or Donald Trump’s social media feed.
For comparison, MoveOn.org’s “Stop the War with Iran” petition only has around 43k. One petition asking Trump not to cut funding for the Special Olympics only has over 100,000.
People don’t care much about politics, and fair enough, but while you may consider this petition to be silly, it should be a wakeup call, and it was a call placed by Breitbart ages ago.
We need to focus more on culture. We need to invest in it more with our time and money as Breitbart told the National Policy Council in 2009.
“The people who have money, every four years at the last possible second, are told, ‘You need to give millions of dollars, because these four counties in Ohio are going to determine the election,’” said Breitbart. “I am saying, why didn’t we invest 20 years ago in a movie studio in Hollywood, why didn’t we invest in creating television shows, why didn’t we create institutions that would reflect and affirm that which is good about America?”
We need this kind of affirmation more than ever now. We’re inundated with leftist messaging to the point where open propaganda is celebrated over good storytelling. Awards and positive promotion are given to movies that celebrate homosexual relationships with underage boys while actual good movies are snubbed. Meanwhile, good conservative entertainment is few and far between. For every “Last Man Standing,” we have a million programs promoting the latest leftist cause celebre. For every “South Park,” we get a handful of Seth MacFarlane and Matt Groening shows.
What right-leaning entertainment that is made is usually bad, and this can be chalked up to an attitude from the right of dismissal. No one is learning the craft and investing the time in propagating it. We shrug it off and even get mad at others for even discussing it. During my show, I see some of my listeners message me on social media about how it’s a waste of time for me to be talking about Game of Thrones.
And so we cede one of the largest battlefields without a fight, and from that ground the left stages some of the most effective attacks on the American populace you’ve ever seen.
I think it’s time we start really heeding Breitbart’s advice, and begin investing in more than just the political aspect of our culture.