We all know there is a culture war, but during the Right Online panel How Culture Drives Politics, there was some disagreement on how we should fight it. The panel, moderated by Slade O’Brien, featured S. E. Cupp, Larry O’Connor, and Bill Whittle.
Cupp, a political commentator and author, argued that we on the Right do not want to integrate into what we consider to be mainstream culture. She told the group to “Celebrate the culture we already have and reinforce that we already have a popular culture; we don’t have to co-opt or try to fit into another one… ours is the majority culture. It’s not mainstream anymore.”
She talked about two films which came out around the same time- The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe and The Golden Compass. Despite mainstream media attempts to disparage it, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe did phenomenally well, while The Golden Compass tanked at the box office. Even critics, who wanted it to succeed, had to admit that it was terrible. Cupp said that “More often than not, it’s conservative themes that bring the country out in droves.”
Raido host Larry O’Connor, on the other hand, said that culture and Hollywood is where we need to start. Throughout history, culture has been used to inform and influence. O’Connor said, we will need to integrate in order to be heard. To do this, we need to support our children in their interest in the arts. “Think of parents who encourage their kids to be in the arts,” O’Connor asked, “are they liberals or conservatives?”
Whittle, a public speaker, spoke to attendees about social proof, and the ways in which people are looking to belong. “We live in a culture today where religion is largely out of our culture… our Christian stories are 2,000 years old, so where is the mythology? Where are the behavioral cues for how we act today?” People turn to television and movies for these cues. While these used to portray images of decent, patriotic citizens, films are now anti-American, and are the antithesis to the values that we on the Right hold dear. As Whittle said “If you think you can pump that stuff into people’s heads… and have them come out and vote for decency… you’ve got another thing coming.”
However we accomplish it, one thing is for sure. We have to win the culture war.