So the 2010 Time Magazine 100 Poll is out, and all of you Conservatives out there should be paying attention. Take a gander at the top 25. Notice anything in particular? Where are the local district representatives? Where are the long-standing politicians and Republican strategists that we see time and time again on our cable news networks? SPOILER ALERT: Nowhere.
I’ll bet you didn’t see that one coming, did you GOP’ers?
In response to my recent column on James Cameron, somebody wrote me:
Who cares about James Cameron? … If people spent half the time reading about their local politicians and congressional reps as they do about the Hollywood elite, this country would be a thousand times better off.
Both unfortunately and importantly, the man speaks the truth. Even more sadly however, is the response that he would receive from most of mainstream America; “So what?”
Would the world be better off if Americans cared more about their local government? Probably? Do they? No.
Having faced that reality, Conservatives need to stop trying to force people to take part in a world for which they have no interest. Conservatives should instead focus on firmly planting their flag in the territory that is the American cultural landscape.
The fact of the matter is that most Americans don’t care about their local representatives nor the 48th district race of Michigan. Most would sooner read Lady Gaga’s opinions concerning seal-clubbing in the Yukon Territories or listen to Justin Bieber extol the virtues of Invisalign.
The fact of the matter is that to most Americans, politicians (particularly the “hackish” variety) are boring. Everything about the whole line of work is dull. The policy talk is boring, the banquets are boring, the Men’s Wearhouse suits are boring and even the sex scandals have slowed to a lull.
On the flip-side, even if a celebrity is inarticulate and unlikable (basically, Sean Penn), they still have a trump card seated firmly in their back-pocket in being a celebrity.
It’s not a fact that we’re proud of as Americans, but we have a strange fascination with Tinseltown. Perhaps it’s due to years of glamorization and shiny packaging or maybe it’s just because Americans want to live vicariously through Lohan’s latest coke-bender. The fact remains, that the industry as a whole maintains a huge influence over the American people, and it’s an industry that Conservatives have ignored for far too long.
Let me put it for you this way; Robert Downey Jr., with one Tweet could hold more influence over the culture than the Karl Rove/Newt Gingrich/Dick Morris superfriends combined.
Barack Obama understands this all too well. Obama “the politician” was never elected. Obama “the celebrity” was. He gets it… When will conservatives?