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Monday, March 9, 2015

Republican's Taboo: Pop Culture

2016 Election update:  

Jimmy Fallon and Fuller House anti-Trump skit

First Scene of Fuller House: 

There is literally no better way to piss off my fellow Republicans more than to tell them that we need pop culture in order to win.  I experienced this first hand when, in 2009, while at a Republican Women Federated luncheon, I suggested that we need to infiltrate pop culture in order to be perceived as "cool" and "relevant."   Sadly, to my surprise, my suggestion was met with jeers and belittlement.  I heard comments like "We are better than pop culture."; and, "We don't need those people to vote for us."  Ooookkkkkkaaaayyyy

Now after a devastating 2012 presidential election loss to a highly unpopular incumbent president, the GOP sadly still doesn't get it.  This is because the GOP establishment believes most people are divided into 4 categories: those who listen to talk radio, those who watch Fox News, those who watch CNN and last, and least, those who watch MSNBC.  So let’s look at these numbers.

Around 3 million people watch cable news each day and roughly 13 million listen to talk radio, however 126,849,296 people voted in the 2012 presidential election, THAT’S 110 MILLION VOTERS WHO MADE UP THEIR MINDS BY OTHER MEANS!  So the question for the GOP is: From where are these voters getting their information, or misinformation, about whom to vote for?

That's where pop culture comes in. But, what is pop culture?  “Pop Culture” is all that's main-stream: movies, comic books, music, TV shows, professional sports, and so on.  Like it or not, it influences our ideas and our way of being, sometimes for the positive, sometimes for the negative.

So you may ask, "Why is this guy so fixated on this “Pop Culture” thing?" Easy, pop culture was able to turn a relatively unknown freshman senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, who had no majorly known accomplishments, into a front runner for the office of president, and then it got him the presidential in for a second term, against all odds.  So how was this possible?

During the 2008 campaign season, pop culture offered many subliminal hints, subtle and obvious, as to who we should vote for. And it definitely wasn't telling us to vote for the Republican candidate.

Case in point (I personally recall):

1:  CSI:  “For Warrick."   This episode told the story of one of the main and most beloved characters on the show being killed by a bad cop, who is ex-military.   The bad cop was named Jeffrey McKeen and his name, demeanor and appearance showed a striking resemblance to John McCain, the GOP's candidate for president. (link)

2: House M.D.:  On one of the episodes, one of the actors enters a restroom stall where there is a sticker on the wall that reads, "Vote for Change 2008" (link)

3: Spider-Man comic #583  (link)

More recently; Obama's interview with GloZell (link)

And, who can forget Bill Clinton playing the saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show during the 1992 campaign?!  His ratings never looked back.  (link)

Regretfully Romney figured this out when it was too late. After he lost the presidential election, he went on Jimmy Fallon to "slow jam" with him (link) and then he released the documentary "Mitt" on Netflix (link).  Afterward his popularity soared. People finally saw him as a “human being,” someone “like us." And that's what “Pop Culture” does, it makes a candidate "one of us," makes us want to vote for them, and makes us want to be led by them.   In this case, Democrats clearly benefited by using pop culture to push their candidate, whereas the Republicans did not.

So I pose to my fellow Republicans this question.... Is our pride against “Pop Culture” really worth not winning a presidential election again?

~ Al Waisman


Update:  Mitt Romney once again went on Jimmy Fallon on 3/25/2015  (link)
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