'Breaking Bad', 'House Of Cards' And Politics

A Forbes’ item by Lana Harfoush of the Moving Picture Institute (MPI), a nonprofit that promotes freedom through film, touches on a theme worth watching from a political perspective. As Andrew Breitbart often pointed out, politics is downstream from culture.

AMC’s Breaking Bad won the Emmy for best drama series, while Anna Gunn won a best supporting actress award for her portrayal of Skyler White. The show also won the Moving Picture Institute’s Audience Favorite award.

David Fincher’s House of Cards won an Emmy for best directing in a drama series. It also received a Liberty on TV award for illustrating Lord Acton’s famous dictum that “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

This year’s 2013 Emmy nominees, which included well-written dramas and intelligent comedies, illustrate that we are living through a new golden age of television. Let us hope that it can also be a new golden age for liberty.

Weeks ago in a different forum I was making the point that if you look at the time period from Carter to Reagan, I believe there were signs within the culture that America was ripe for Reagan’s message. While Carter came to represent weakness and failure – can you say malaise speech – from music to television, movies, art, etc…, it wasn’t unusual to see themes in the popular culture dealing with patriotism, pride in America, liberty and a desire to break out and away from all the negativity America was experiencing both at home and around the world.

Reagan and his message came to represent just such a tonic.

Given where we are today, I’m hoping we begin seeing more of what one might call Libertarian themes in various fields of art that make-up American popular culture. If music, television and movies begin to show a negative reaction to what you might call the new stat-ism and consequent yearning for, or celebration of individual liberty, that may do more to set the stage for new, more Right-leaning leadership in America going forward, than any other factor.