Imagine if Miley Cyrus had printed the number “17 trillion” across her twerking buttocks; think how many people would know our national debt. Without commenting on the quality of the current pop culture, it’s impossible to deny its power, although the right seems to be giving denial more than a day in court.
Where does this denial come from? Three immediate answers come to mind:
- It’s not really denial but rather a lack of understanding as to the aforementioned power.
- To embrace the power of culture is to admit to one’s own impotence particularly while protecting a K Street business model that garners revenue but not results.
- Denial is a fallback position when the truth is too painful or overwhelming.
All three possibilities are alarming. But our only hope is in #3, because it would mean that somewhere buried beneath charts, graphs, and policy is the subconscious understanding that we are outmatched, outgunned, and very few on our side have any idea how to reach another human being.
If you don’t believe me, digest the following: Katy Perry has roughly 6 million more Twitter followers than Barack Obama.
Let me rephrase: a pop singer has 6 million more Twitter followers than the President of the United States. Wait, one more: the singer of “I Kissed a Girl” has 6 million more Twitter followers than the leader of the free world. Now ask yourself this question: do you think the singer of “I Kissed a Girl” understands the ramifications of Obamacare? Here’s the answer: it doesn’t matter.
This is what matters: On August 25, while Miley Cyrus was stretching or doing whatever she was doing to prepare for her thing, Katie Perry retweeted the status of Barack Obama… to 41.6 million people.
41.6 million people. Then what happened? The savvy folks at Organizing for America (who run the President’s twitter account) saw an opportunity. They saw someone with the ability to carry the President’s water to 6 million more people than he could via Twitter. So what did they do? They tweeted back; after all, wouldn’t most people retweet a shout-out from the President? And of course she did. An endorsement of an endorsement to 41.6 million people.
And to add insult to injury, they used #ROAR, the name of Katy Perry’s number one single. With a simple hash tag, the President said “I’m one of you. By the way, keep that in mind when you see the mainstream media’s coverage of crazy right wingers at town hall meetings objecting to your right to get affordable healthcare. They’re not like you. I am. I listen to #ROAR.”
A political idea is not unlike a movie script: in order for it to become an actual movie, it needs to be green lit by a studio with the means to distribute it. But in politics, the studios aren’t Warner Brothers, Sony, or Paramount; the studios are the Democratic media complex, the entertainment community, and academia. Katy Perry is a studio. She green lit Obamacare, made it a movie, and said to 41.6 million people, “You gotta see this.” It doesn’t matter if the movie’s a piece of crap. For all intents and purposes, she saw it and it’s fantastic, even though it hasn’t actually come out yet.
The left’s ideas don’t have to be good or spelled out, because they have an entire studio system willing to put them on the screen even if they are the policy equivalent of Ishtar. The right doesn’t have that access. There is no studio system of any magnitude to distribute the ideology of the right. If they’re lucky, they can get their script past Frank Luntz and it’ll wind a web video viewed by 1,300 like-minded people.
This means whether they like it or not, the right is comprised of independent filmmakers who have to work extra hard to get their films seen. So they sure as hell better be entertaining. They better be Little Miss Sunshine. Paul Ryan in front of a graph doesn’t bode well for a big box office.
Entertain then enlighten.
Unless, of course, there’s enough room to print graphs and charts on to Miley Cyrus’ twerking buttocks.
Jon David Kahn is the Minister of Culture for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter.