Radio’s Rush Limbaugh remains an astute observer of the country’s political forces. He also understands how much power popular culture, which more than leans left, has over voters.
Limbaugh listed the ways in which conservatism commands the public’s loyalty, specifically citing talk radio, non-fiction book sales and Fox News. Yet the right continues to lose at the ballot box.
How do elections happen the way they do? We own books; we own talk radio; we own cable news. Well, the 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.
Limbaugh is more or less right on target. It’s a complicated situation, with some obvious examples like kiddie films which demonize big business and the military hammering home his point, while the success of Duck Dynasty shows the left’s grip on the culture is not universal.
What pop culture does so effectively is make liberal figures cool (Parks and Recreation’s main character worships Hillary Clinton, for example) and conservative ideals cruel and unworthy of our trust (Lee Daniels’ The Butler is a perfect Exhibit A) through a stream of messages embedded in the content that comes into our homes.
Limbaugh is merely restating one of Andrew Breitbart’s core messages–culture is upstream from politics.