The Battlefield, July 3, 2015

This is the first of what will be a weekly Friday installment full of things I couldn’t come up with a long enough take to make a full post on. It’s going to be a grab bag of culture, politics, random thoughts and whatever.

A lot of it comes from my Facebook page. I’m told the stuff which goes there is wasted if it doesn’t also show up here, since I don’t make any money from traffic on Facebook.

First off, we’re about a third of the way toward completing the capital launch project for the Red Bayou Show. So if you haven’t made a contribution to our GoFundMe effort, I’d really appreciate it if you’d consider clicking here and doing so.

We’ve raised enough to get moving on some of the improved capabilities this project is aimed at providing. But to go further, we need the other two thirds. So any help you guys can provide would be greatly appreciated. We need to get this project done in advance of the election season starting this fall so that the show can be a tool in vetting candidates for legislative and statewide races.

And second, if you’re in a giving mood, I’d also appreciate it if you’d take a look at my friend Tim Young’s Kickstarter project. Tim, a brilliant conservative marketing and social media expert who also happens to be a stand-up comic, is working on putting together a conservative answer to The Daily Show, and he has had interest from some networks in that project. But he’s raising money to get the pilot filmed and do other things. Check him out here.

Both of these projects are of a piece with something I hammer on all the time – which is that, as Andrew Breitbart famously said, politics is downstream from culture. Conservatives, especially right now, sit slack-jawed in amazement at how rapidly traditional American culture is being chopped up and marginalized in favor of things virtually everyone understood were immoral and insane just a couple of decades ago. And if you read, for example, Rod Dreher’s blog at the American Conservative what you’ll see is a relatively steady stream of advice that religious and otherwise traditional Americans need to be preparing to simply check out of Sodom and Gomorrah. He calls it the Benedictine Option, after St. Benedict who founded the monastic order as a response to the wickedness of Dark Ages Europe, and he’s correct in seeing some parallels between that time and what this one might become.

But as bad as things might be, the culture war isn’t over yet. It’s not over until we say it’s over. And frankly, we haven’t even begun to fight.

Part of the problem is we don’t know how to fight in the culture, and the donor class on the conservative side hasn’t recognized the necessity of learning how. Most Republican or conservative donors are self-made multimillionaires who have managed to create a lifestyle for themselves that insulates them from popular culture, so they don’t really see how bad it is out there. They don’t watch network TV, they never listen to Top 40 radio, they’ll only really see the “good” movies. They think the status quo is the same one from which they made their $20 million starting three decades ago, and they’ll donate a pile of cash toward buying politicians who’ll keep the legal system and the tax code where it was back in the 1980’s and that’s it.

What they don’t see is that status quo is falling apart under their feet.

Meanwhile, the Left’s donors either inherited a big pile of cash from grandpa and feel guilty about it, or if they’re self-made they’ve nevertheless got some itch they can’t scratch. They’ve got some exotic sexuality issues to work out, or they didn’t get enough love from Daddy, or whatever – but in any event they’ve decided since their money can’t solve their misery they need to use it to Change The World. And so they’ll fund all kinds of projects aimed at altering the culture. Every left-wing avant-garde idea you can think of has generated generous grants from leftist foundations and donors, and 90 percent of those projects come to no useful result whatsoever. But the other 10 percent do, and when they move the needle our side has very little answer for them. Over time, that adds up – because as we’ve seen, you can’t just give in to these people and think they’ll take “no” for an answer next time.

So getting Tim’s show on the air as a retort to the smart-ass left wing propagandists poisoning the tube every night is more than just a one-off thing. Call it a guerilla raid on the enemy’s camp in the culture war. And helping to get the Red Bayou Show rolling as an expanding concern, thus creating a conservative alternative to the anodyne pap, if not outright leftism, the talk stations in South Louisiana are inflicting on audiences, is the same.

You really ought to get in the game. I’m not saying that Tim could change comedy TV; I am saying that if he doesn’t get a chance to, he certainly won’t. And what we’re doing at the Red Bayou Show could become a factor in the culture war in Louisiana as well. We might fail, but failure is a good thing. You can learn from failure and through those lessons find success.

The Left didn’t bring us to gay marriage, or banishing God from the public square, through a never-ending string of successes. They fail far more often than they succeed – look at MSNBC, or The Day After Tomorow. Or the Department of Education. Or Baltimore. Our side seems to fear failure, particularly with respect to the culture, and therefore doesn’t try. We have that wrong, and we need to change that.

Other stuff

– Can we all agree that George Takei isn’t cute anymore? Can we agree to stop making him a thing on social media?

After all, there is this…

– Ann Coulter has a really good column on immigration and the mess Donald Trump has found himself in. Specifically, she makes a great point: we don’t know how right Trump is about the proportion of violent criminals coming over the border from Mexico, because the government refuses to provide accurate statistics on the subject. But why would ANY criminals be acceptable? Immigration is supposed to be a device for IMPROVING our population, not making it worse, and we ought to have the ability to keep foreign criminals out of the country. It’s hardly bigoted to say that.

This, if you can read through it without laughing at the sheer absurdity of the whole thing.

– If you’re on a beach on North Carolina, why would you go in the water? You already know there are sharks out there. They live in that water. That would be like burgling the house of the local NRA chapter president armed with nothing but foul language.

– A quote from Trey Gowdy, who is looking more and more like a potted plant as his committee is being stalled by the Clintons and the State Department and the Obama administration over those Benghazi emails:

“[President Obama] could pick up the phone today and say… ‘give him what he wants so he can please go away.’ John Kerry could decide ‘you know what? None of this happened when I was Secretary of State, and I’m tired of the agency being cast in the light that it’s cast in, as being recalcitrant. Give him the emails. They’re public record — give ‘em to him.’ But those two phone calls haven’t been made yet, so we continue to wait.”

Well, yeah.

He’s never going to get that material while Obama is in office, for reasons which are purely partisan and political. Which means in order to complete his work he’s going to have to be purely partisan and political.

What Gowdy ought to be doing is publicly floating creative and politically-apocalyptic theories as to what’s in those emails his committee isn’t being provided. And while most of them may be over the top, he ought to make sure that all of the conceivable ones get covered as well, so that when those emails do turn up and the committee and the public see them he can say “it’s what I expected.”

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