Some still argue that culture and art have nothing to do with politics. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) proved that wrong in his ongoing filibuster this week when he quoted Teen Choice Award winner Ashton Kutcher and novelist Ayn Rand in the same breath.
The Texas senator started by calling his fellow Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee “cool.” He then went on to quote another “cool” person by referencing Kutcher’s viral speech earlier this year at the Teen Choice Awards where the Two and a Half Men star preached to young people about the importance of hard work, perseverance and self reliance. Cruz tied the speech into his bid against Obamacare by saying the bill guts those principles.
Cruz then referenced another famous artist, a more predictable choice, by quoting Rand’s The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Both novels tell stories of industry giants fighting overreaching governments. They are favorites among right of center thinkers.
Among the fitting quotes lifted from Rand’s work, Cruz found one for our political and media climate today:
“No speech is ever considered, but only the speaker. It’s so much easier to pass judgment on a man than an idea.”
Cruz then went on to attack Washington and the media for putting political personalities above ideas. Those tides seem to be shifting when you consider the growing popularity of men like Sens. Cruz and Paul. That popularity is precisely for their ideas, first and foremost.
With Cruz quoting both Kutcher, who recently portrayed successful capitalist Steve Jobs in the biopic Jobs, and Rand, it goes to show that politics and art have everything to do with one another. Both involve thinking and trying to understand how to live amongst each other. This is exactly why the culture war is just down the street from the political one.