August 29, 2013

Rush Limbaugh cites facts that raise the "the obvious question: How do elections happen the way they do?"

The facts:
CNN is down, the networks are down, while conservative books sell through the wazoo and end up number one on the New York Times list.

The most listened to radio talk shows are conservative.  The most watched cable news network is conservative. ... We own books; we own talk radio; we own cable news. 
His 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!

On the fiction side of books, we're nowhere, in terms of what conservatism is, being cool and plot lines and that kind of thing.  We're not in the classroom, we're not in academia, we're not the professors and the presidents of universities.  We are not school superintendents.  Those are very crucial because they get people when they're young, young skulls full of mush. They get to make and form those brains and basically propagandize them and indoctrinate them however they wish.
It wasn't liberals who originated the idea that has most famously been phrased: "Give me the child for his first seven years, and I'll give you the man." That was the methodology of traditional religion. Liberals — of both the right and left — should value the autonomy of the young. They should revere it. They should perform their sacred duty to develop and guide young mind. Yet they fight for the power to indoctrinate. Shame on all of them.

The central characters in good pop culture stories tend to be free and independent, so Rush's frustration that conservatives can't get hold of the "fiction side" of things is reason for hope. Left-wingers of the big government variety should have the same problem appropriating pop culture. Even if the various stars mouth left-wing propaganda, they can't imprint that agenda in the stories, which require strongly autonomous heroes and heroines.

41 comments:

cubanbob said...

The short answer to Rush that you can't cure stupid.

pduggie said...

For what its worth, the Jesuits are sometimes regarded as the more openminded or 'liberal' of the catholic orders. Though perhaps Ignatius was not.

Bob Ellison said...

It won't work out that way. Organization, enlightened leadership, cultism-- these are the currencies of leftism. Most young people find these things irresistible. Rightism's currency is individualism, and young people are not individualists. They are cultists, natural conservatives.

Even when you can convince a leftist that he or she does not actually like the policies or the results of leftist politicos, they still vote left. They are in a box.

Smilin' Jack said...

Left-wingers of the big government variety should have the same problem appropriating pop culture. Even if the various stars mouth left-wing propaganda, they can't imprint that agenda in the stories, which require strongly autonomous heroes and heroines.

You mean like Che?

Jim said...

"The central characters in good pop culture stories tend to be free and independent"

I don't mean to be disrespectful when I say that that is a naive view of pop culture aimed at children and teens. Almost all movies (and most shows) aimed at kids have the following plot line: parents and kids disagree, everything goes wrong until parents realize that kids were right, all is well again. The end.

It kills me how our culture is working against me as a parent.

jr565 said...

I think country music has a lot of conservatism in it. It often talks about family and the breakup of said family, and seems to stress, by and large traditional values.
Whereas, rap expresses by and large criminality. And alternative rock expresses nihilism. If you're in collee on the east coast you're probably not listening to country. But you probably are listening to lefty agitprop and philosophy disguised as music.

There's a reason Kurt Cobain killed himself and was a heroin addict. Have you ever listened to his lyrics?

SJ said...

Is the military a bunch of thoughtless, brutish sadists?

Or noble defenders of the right and the good?

Is the wealthy Businessman noble, or venal? Does he provide valuable things for the world, or steal money from downtrodden employees and powerless customers?(Is the world of Entertainment ever described as Big Business?)

Are religious people shown as evil? Or as dupes?

What if the religion is non-Christian? How are the believers shown?

Not really a liberal/conservative things...Is Dad a clueless idiot? Or is he someone that the children in the story look up to?
Can Dad use violence to protect his family from violent men, without becoming evil?

There are many ways to turn a story with an individual hero into a story that supports the Liberal view of the world.

Hagar said...

I am sure I have read that John Dewey once said, "Give me the young of a generation, and I will change the world!" but if so, it seems to have gone down the memory hole.

Is it a quote, but of someone else?

O2bna2 said...

Ann,
The left and right are not fighting for the power to indoctrinate our children. The left wholly owns these venues. They are the gate keepers of public education. Conservatives aren't in academia or teaching highschool because they don want too. It is because we are not allowed too. I am a college educated Hispanic American with a masters in environmental management. When my name is googled you will quickly find I ran for state level public office as a conservative republican who openly challenged leftist orthodoxy on a number of issues. I am qualified to teach math and science and yet the gate keepers will make certain this does not happen lest their power for indoctrination Be diminished. Don't suggest this a battle of right and left. This is blatant discrimination by government employees over differing sets of beliefs.

SJ said...

One more question:

is government best for enforcing contracts and punishing criminals, or is it best for reversing oppression and keeping The Man down?

Harold House said...

Rush's socio-views are, as they have ever been, just babbling bullshit.

First it was the mainstream media. Then public radio and TV. Print, (of course).

When Rush and his nitwit friends found they owned radio and that it reached more people for prolonged periods of time than the major news combined, he had to choke down what was MSM. Then comes Faux and their particular brand of "news". Print they don't own yet except Murdoch isn't shy about his aspirations.

Failing all else, it then has to be those who "shape the minds" or liberal academia.

Did it ever occur to this bozo that if conservative parents who are just full up to their brown eyes with right wing dogma spent more time with their kids, their little noggins wouldn't be so full of mush?

Is that his argument?

Broomhandle said...

It's generational. Prior to the 1960's most pop culture heroes were "conservative" archetypes-lawmen, athletes, fighter pilots, etc. These days conservatisms only path to hipness will be through libertarianism. Smash the State!

Left Bank of the Charles said...

The top 10 movies of 2012 at the box office were Marvel's The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, The Hunger Games, Skyfall, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part 2), The Amazing Spider-Man, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Brave, Ted, and Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted. Nowhere?

Unknown said...

"Even if the various stars mouth left-wing propaganda, they can't imprint that agenda in the stories, which require strongly autonomous heroes and heroines."

WOW.

Not sure how you came to that conclusion. Brings to mind the recent movie about fracking, don't remember the name & so I did a quick Google for "movies with political themes" -- 37,800,000 hits.

I happen to be a nuclear engineer, and arguably the release of "The China Syndrome" created more chaos than the Three Mile Island meltdown that happened a week after the movie release. We gained a few thousand coal fired power plants out of that.

Unknown said...

"Even if the various stars mouth left-wing propaganda, they can't imprint that agenda in the stories, which require strongly autonomous heroes and heroines."

WOW.

Not sure how you came to that conclusion. Brings to mind the recent movie about fracking, don't remember the name & so I did a quick Google for "movies with political themes" -- 37,800,000 hits.

I happen to be a nuclear engineer, and arguably the release of "The China Syndrome" created more chaos than the Three Mile Island meltdown that happened a week after the movie release. We gained a few thousand coal fired power plants out of that.

Scott M said...

Even if the various stars mouth left-wing propaganda, they can't imprint that agenda in the stories, which require strongly autonomous heroes and heroines.

Rebuttal: Elysium.

Unknown said...

I can't think of anything less sensible that I've ever read in Althouse than:

"Liberals — of both the right and left — should value the autonomy of the young. They should revere it. They should perform their sacred duty to develop and guide young mind. Yet they fight for the power to indoctrinate. Shame on all of them."

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Harold House -

Are you for real? What an embarrassingly ignorant post you wrote! But thanks for the laughs.

William said...

To be fair, Hollywood made two fine films--Gone With the Wind and Birth of A Nation--that were not just pro KKK but pro slavery......I think artists and intellectuals always buy into the rebel cause. Sometimes the rebel cause is slavery and other times it is socialism, but the act of rebellion validates the cause whatever crock that cause may actually be.

EMD said...

Rebuttal: Elysium.

Which tanked.

gadfly said...

"Give me the child for his first seven years, and I'll give you the man." That was the methodology of traditional religion.

. . . says Brit atheist weirdo Richard Dawkins, a dyed-in-the-wool liberal from the world of academia whose only motivation in life appears to be his hatred of the concept of God.

I think that Rush's point is that liberals, not conservatives, do indeed control our cultural institutions and thus must be very skilled in the concepts of indoctrination of all skulls "filled with mush" - regardless of chronological age.

Inga said...

It's all relative. Some people's "indoctrination" is other people's "guidance". Anything can be twisted to fit an agenda, the Bible and the Constitution are two that are notoriously twisted, bent and shredded to fit one's worldview.

If half of the homes in America are conservative, and their children go off to college, their heads filled with lefty "propaganda", how effective was the guidance at home? Perhaps something resonated with them that caused them to think about what they believed as a child and what they believe as an adult.

Young minds can be changed by several mechanisms, popular culture is only one. In the end most young adults make up their own minds (rightfully so) unless they have been so thouroughly indoctrinated at a young age, they can not begin to think on their own.

mtrobertsattorney said...

I think the "Give me the child..." quote refers to character formation and not religious doctrine.

Does our public school system have duty to shape and encourage good character traits? And if it does, is it "guiding" or "indoctrinating" young minds?

Conservatives, in general, support educational programs designed to develop and inculcate positive character traits in children. They see such programs as "guiding" a child.

But the left, influenced by ethical relativism and modern notions of "autonomy", oppose these programs as "indoctrination."

Here's where the cultural divide begins.

Christy said...

Maybe some ideas are in the air. I've been fuming the last couple of weeks that Pandora has two disingenuous ads supporting obamacare and accusing the GOP of trying to stop blacks from voting, both in heavy rotation. Haven't blamed Pandora, but I have been irritated that conservatives haven't run counter ads. But then I'm not sure how popular Pandora actually is among kids. Does it make a difference?

traditionalguy said...

Conservatives have a long history of favorite mind control myths of their own, with the exception of William F. Buckley and Ronald Reagan it is hard to remember any truth seeking Conservatives.

Tolerance of all points of view is Liberal. But understanding certain truths such as that a free market distribution system works, and that a skepical science is the only true science, and that free speech is a service to all, is what makes Conservatives popular.

But pushing an irrational fear of black men and opposing women who preach in Church is not Conservative, it is lazy minded insanity.

machine said...

..."half the homes in America are conservative/what makes conservatives popular"

What?

the real short answer: there aren't as many of you as you think there are.

Scott M said...

Which tanked..

Granted, but box office receipts weren't the point. Likewise, Oblivion and After Earth both tanked as well, both with A-listers in the forefront.

Hell, Oblivion's already on DVD.

Broomhandle said...

"But pushing an irrational fear of black men and opposing women who preach in Church is not Conservative,"

Ironically, it has been popular culture who, since at least the '90's, has relentlessly pushed an irrational fear of black men. When I saw how the media played the crack wars, I knew the African-American Moment was never going to come.

Tom said...

Three words: Alex P. Keaton. When I was a kid, Michael J. Fox's character on Family Ties was definitely conservative. But his character was easy to understand and empathize with. There is not one conservative character who fits that description today. Rand Paul may be interesting and cool enough to make the leap - as a libertarian leaning conservative. But he has a lot to overcome and, as much as I'd like to say he can do it, it remains to be seen.

Scott M said...

Tolerance of all points of view is Liberal.

Was maybe. No longer.

Beorn said...

Tolerance of all points of view is Liberal

Tolerance is liberal virtue, not a Liberal one. Opposing points of view are not even broached (much less considered) on MSNBC, by the DNC, the NY Times, or any Liberal conclave.

This explains why Obama debates strawmen of his own construction so much of the time.

Bob Ellison said...

traditionalguy, these words, "liberal" and "conservative", are just placeholders. They are strangely bad words for the people they represent in modern American politics. Richard Nixon, for example, was what we today would describe as a liberal. JFK was a conservative.

I prefer "rightist" and "leftist". These words describe the real political leanings. Do you want the government to have more control, or less?

Do you think the government should tax rich people at a higher rate (not more dollars, but at a higher rate) than poor people?

Should we force employers to pay a minimum wage, in the interest of guaranteeing that workers can get by on an honest day's work?

Is health care a right? What distinguishes a right from something you think people should have?

Does an individual have reason and right to fear intrusion from the government, to the extent that he should require proof that the government has reason and right to intrude upon his privacy and right to defend himself?

jacksonjay said...


The trad guy said:
Tolerance of all points of view is Liberal.

That must be news to Clarence Thomas, Allen West and Stacy Dash to name a few! Oh, and by the way, I really enjoyed the speech by Tim Scott at the MLK observance yesterday!

damikesc said...

Did it ever occur to this bozo that if conservative parents who are just full up to their brown eyes with right wing dogma spent more time with their kids, their little noggins wouldn't be so full of mush?

Schools get about 8 hrs a day with the kid, screwing them over and teaching them nothing of use.

Pop culture is pure crap.

Its conservatives fault if they can't overcome all of that, eh? Funny, LITERALLY no other group is held to that standard.

The sheer intellectual bigotry of academia is hard to miss. It's funny that academic success plummeted just as the Left took over education institutions completely.

If half of the homes in America are conservative, and their children go off to college, their heads filled with lefty "propaganda", how effective was the guidance at home?

As a reminder, scientific parents go ballistic if ID is taught in school because it might "confuse" kids who live with them.

But, apparently, a kid going to a college that is aggressively Leftist shouldn't have any bearing if the parent "did a good job"?

And, tradguy, can you name ANY truth seeking progressives? I know I cannot.

Glen Filthie said...

We all indoctrinate, Ann. Technically speaking you do too - you do it merely by presenting an opinion and supporting it with whatever evidence you have. There is nothing wrong with this.

The problem with liberal indoctrination is that kids aren't growing up. Half their professors in university are every bit as naïve and childlike as the students.

And Rush is right. Back in better days Corporal Klinger on MASH was a clown. Today he's a role model.

But what of it? Liberal social engineering is a problem that is going to take care of itself - just as it did in New Orleans and Detroit...

Aurelian said...

Traditionalguy:

Irrational fear of black men? You are pretty much a fool for writing that.

sane_voter said...

Liberals have a long history of favorite mind control myths of their own, with the exception of Michael Kinsley and Jimmy Carter, it is hard to remember any truth seeking Liberals.

Tolerance of few points of view is Liberal. But understanding certain truths such as that a market re-distribution system works, and that a skepical science is not true science, and that free speech must be controlled to all, is what makes Liberals popular.

But pushing an irrational fear of white men and supporting men who preach in the church of global warming is not Liberal, it is lazy minded insanity.

Al&Bea said...

I think you're missing the point by concentrating on entertainment. The problem with the young (and it is not really their problem) is the indoctrination they received every year from teachers who learned the wonders of progressive thought in teacher prep schools.
I worked in K-12 education (as the COO) for 30 years. In that time, I rarely ever came across a teacher who was moderate, let alone conservative. These are the teachers who replaced the subjects of civics, geography and history with the study of seagulls and alaskan indian families.
Once the students graduate from high school, they face four years at a university where liberal thought rules all.
And you wonder why these young adults mindlessly vote for Obama! And why they ignore his impeachable offenses.
It is sad that we have come to this.

Michael K said...

"And you wonder why these young adults mindlessly vote for Obama! And why they ignore his impeachable offenses.
It is sad that we have come to this. "

All I can add to this is the recollection of the UW students standing in line to hear Obama on campus after the first debate. They were asked if he should have been able to use a teleprompter in the debate. Some large majority said he should.

Critical thinking ?

Almost Ali said...

History teaches us that personal charisma tends to trump everything - from party affiliation to common sense.

Find a charismatic conservative, and we're off to the races.

traditionalguy said...

@ Sane_voter...The point of the post was asking how conservatives can win elections. I suggested that an answer is to speak the truth and quit excluding black men on sight and distaining women's issues as if those two voter groups will never be acceptable among high brow Conservatives.

That will take some serious self control, which is the opposite from being a retaliation jerk.

A knee jerk rejection of alliances with others for no reason except fear makes serious Conservatives consider not voting for a GOP that rejects anyone new in town, and that in turn helps the Obama Gang take them in and win elections.