It has become inevitable. Conservatism needs a new face and it appears that Republican leaders, despite their efforts, are not bringing about the kinds of image changes the party needs in order to make a substantial move towards a victory in 2016. Unless conservatives want to sit back as liberal policies bury us so far in debt that voters see a Republican candidate is the only candidate worth voting for, there needs to be some major work done.
As I considered solutions for this problem in my small, cold, Michigan dorm room, the obvious answers came to mind: social networking, new logos, less tolerance towards liberal policies on healthcare and immigration. But in one way or another, all of these issues have been tackled: conservatives arguably flex their Twitter muscles more than liberals, they’ve caught onto new trends in graphic design, and have become divided on issues of moving to the left (something that should have been a non-issue to begin with).
As the Declaration argues, however, now that our chosen representatives have failed to protect the rights of their people and have begun to limit them (as new liberal legislation has done increasingly), not only do we have the right to “throw off such government”, but the duty to do so. It was while I blazed through homework listening to a fast-paced, aggressive, offensive song that I realized “you know this could really work.”
Now this is the part where you need to hear me out: I’m not just some fanatic who obsesses over this stuff and forces it into articles. The actual principle behind inspiring political change through music is evident through the impact rock music had from the mid ’50’s through the mid ’80’s. Whether it was Buddy Holly, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Sex Pistols, or The Clash, the style didn’t matter so much as its blatant attacks on pop culture and the way society was being run by politicians. The only problem with these movements was that they shifted everything to the left. Way to the left. When thinking about the change in political thought during these 30 years or so, it is impossible to separate the role of rock music (and specifically punk rock) from this transformation, and we need something similar right now.
We need people to be blatant, outward, even offensive to get the point across. Why is it that the Sex Pistols could write a song in 1977 that called their Queen a fascist when we sit 36 years later as our current U.S. President attempts to transform us into a socialist state? If people are genuinely angry about things, they should be acting on that anger and molding their country to provide them the rights they believe they deserve. The left has us beat in this way of thinking by a landslide.
People that are passionate need to get out there and make a point of not caring how the left perceives them, even if their music, movies, YouTube videos or whatever they do is awful; as a movement everything gains power. If we have learned anything from punk rock it’s that you don’t have to be great at anything to get the point across.
It can’t be stated enough how much conservatism could benefit from more people in the entertainment industry, and this isn’t solely limited to punk rock music, but movies, literature, sports, and other genres of music as well. Honestly, Tim Tebow isn’t doing his career any favors by being outward in his religious beliefs, but he recognizes this as more important than any other message he could be spreading, and I think most conservatives need to start taking notes. Many in the entertainment business are afraid to make obvious their political or religious affiliations because of the advanced ostracism that would come from the left if they did so, and these thoughts need to be banished. Quickly. You aren’t accountable to anyone but yourself and your God, and if conservatives really understand that, it’s time to kick things up a notch.
Let me just say this: if you value your conservative or Christian principles, if you’re sick of feeling under-represented in the world of pop culture, if you’re tired of hearing shameless Hollywood actors kiss the President’s ass, put your foot down. Say something you would normally censor. Swear. Offend a nearby liberal and then brush it off, because if we can’t make the rules, if we can’t have any say in the rules, we should start breaking them.
Conner Dwinell | Hillsdale College | @ConnerDwinell