I want to take a moment out of my usual social/political commentary to talk about something that gets on my nerves personally. If it was something that just got on my nerves and nothing else, I’d probably not waste time writing about it, but it seems to be a pervasive enough mentality that I feel it’s necessary to address it.
This pervasive mentality, by the way, is shared primarily by conservatives. So listen up, my ideological cousins, this one’s for you.
Whenever I start ranting or chatting about a celebrity or activist, there’s always that one guy who pops up and suggests that if I wasn’t giving any mind to said person, then they wouldn’t have a platform from which to spew their crap.
While this might very well be true for people with little to no platform, it’s not so true for those who already have a large one. Celebrities, for instance, are people who have large platforms by nature. My not talking about their latest idiotic statement about some social issue won’t make the slightest bit of difference in how successful their message is at getting out. My not awarding them a platform means nothing because they were already being given one by the innumerable mob. Whether it’s one of the millions of websites, or one of the umptillion people on the planet, someone is going to talk about their recent comments on gun control, abortion, politics, etc.
There are a plethora of stuffed-to-the-brim social media networks that have given anyone the power to talk about anything anybody wants. Hourly, subjects pop up that the hoard wishes to discuss, and sometimes that subject is a celebrity that you or I wonder how they have more than a couple brain cells to rub together, much less an audience that will listen to them.
But that’s the nature of the interconnected social beast. We can refrain all we want from discussing it ourselves, but in the end, it WILL get discussed with or without us. It’s a futile non-effort. What’s more, it’s a non-effort that ends up shooting us in the foot.
If every conservative were to refrain from talking about a certain celebrity or activist’s actions, it would amount to squat. The message, as I’ve said, will get from California to Kim Jong Un’s Amiga 4000 before you can say “Ronald Reagan WAS AN ACTOR.” What’s worse, is that by turning your nose up at it, you do yourself and the world a disservice by removing your voice completely.
You’ll recall there was a time when the left had a monologue going in the media, and had little to no opposition. That all changed with the introduction of right-wing talk radio. This, in turn, triggered a massive change within the media, and today we have all sorts of dissenting voices on radio, TV and, increasingly now, in the movies.
The same concept applies to the internet.
When an issue is brought up, it’s imperative that we speak up about it, even if that issue was brought up from someone whom we think is ridiculous, like a Kardashian or a Jenner.
If no one on the right weighed in when actors go on anti-gun rants, they would be free to speak in a vacuum. Those who don’t follow politics closely would never know the counter arguments. Furthermore, said actors, knowing they’d meet no resistance, would be free to make up whatever inaccurate statistics they’d want, and why not? Who’s going to call them out?
This doesn’t just apply to big name celebrities either. Activists of all shapes and sizes need to be reality checked regularly. It’s the activists with smaller, yet loud and zealous followings that should have interference run on them as well. Don’t wait till they have some massive following with TV spots and book deals.
But what really bugs me is that this “ignore it” mentality from conservatives is the immediate child of the right’s inability to take culture seriously. I hate to say it — again — but what happens in Hollywood matters. It’s a massive communications tool that millions of people — whether conservatives like it or not — take a lot of their opinions on things from.
The culture war is a massive battlefield that conservatives are largely absent from. They’ve given it up for lost, and think that their absence from it will somehow convince others to leave by example.
Conservatives couldn’t be more wrong.
By the time many Americans get into the voting booth, their mind is already made up on that battlefield, and with no opposition to the progressive left, that American has no choice but to vote what they think they know.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to discuss pop culture. I can’t say too many times how good it is to get into the mud and talk about the stuff that you see. Learn about it. Comment on it. Do something other than nothing. If you don’t, they win by default.
Look at it this way… If we consider progressive leftism a societal cancer like we’re fond of saying, then we should treat it as such. Ignoring the cancer, no matter how small it is, won’t make the cancer go away. It’ll only increase and spread until it becomes so damaging that it kills the host body.
Same rules apply to this country. We’ve ignored a lot of things, and now we have an academia infected with social justice, a rampant leftist media that would rather cause city wide riots than actually report the truth, and websites like Tumblr.
So understand how much damage you do by trying to convince yourself and others that picking up your toys and going home will somehow make everything better. It won’t. You’re only shooting yourself in the foot with an RPG.
“Politics is downstream from culture.” ~ Andrew Breitbart
Stop asking “who?” when I bring up a celebrity. You know who the hell I’m talking about. If I had a dollar for every time a conservative said that when I talked Hollywood, I’d easily have the down payment to a car.
Photo by Jacob Wackerhausen / Getty Images
Hailing from Austin, Texas, Brandon Morse has been writing about politics and culture across many websites for the last six years, with a heavy emphasis on anti-authoritarianism. Aside from writing articles, he is also known for voice acting and authoring scripts. He is an avid gamer, dog person, and has a bad habit of making vague references to things no one has heard about or seen. Follow him at @TheBrandonMorse on Twitter.
Click through the gallery below to read more from Morse in his previous EveryJoe columns:
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