Conservatives are boring, uptight, cheap, stodgy and don’t have a sense of humor: that’s the media narrative, anyway. Given that most mainstream media presenters are liberal/Democrats -and this is what most liberals/Democrats think of conservatives-it’s no wonder this is the picture that is most often painted of Conservatives in the public eye. It is also patently untrue.
When I was a young actress working for a children’s theater company I was shocked to discover that children’s theater actors were actually the most debaucherous players in the theater world. Perhaps it is because they have to spend so much time putting on a smiling, excited, kind, non-offensive face for the children. When they have time off, those actors really let loose. Cussing, drinking, dirty jokes – if you want any of those things in abundance join a children’s theater troop. When children are absent it is a non-stop, politically incorrect filth-fest (and I mean that in the best, most fun way possible). The conservative community is much the same. Oh sure, you have those folks recoil at the “F” word; and that’s fine. Hey, there has to be SOMEONE to reign in the chaos from time to time. However, some of the raunchiest folks I know are conservatives…and they love to laugh – at themselves and others (but laughing at others is way more fun). Why? The same reason children’s theater actors go nuts when they’re not on duty…freedom.
Conservatives love their freedom. That love is in everything they talk about, support and do. The freedom to laugh at whatever you find funny is no less important than the freedom of speech.
Enter Misfit Politics, a political blog founded and run by a group of 20-something “misfits”. The folks at Misfit are working hard at having fun; but it’s not just about fun. It’s also about influencing pop culture as conservatives. Pause to look at any video or blog post on the Misfit site and you are very likely to find a mix of pro-America/pro-freedom punditry, bawdy humor, and intelligent political analysis all peppered with a healthy dose of sarcasm and snark. Their kick-off video lambasting the now defunct “Attack Watch” immediately went viral and was picked up by the likes of Michelle Malkin and Fox News. Most recently, the Misfits premiered their animated web-series “Merica” – a South Park-style show that mocks the entire political spectrum. Founding member Brandon Morse says the goal of his website was to “try to make conservatism something worth laughing with and not worth laughing at. We were Conservatives making humor, not Conservative humor.”
While there is undoubtedly a culture gap between older and younger conservatives, the fact is there are older and younger conservatives. The White House stenographers over MSNBC would have the public believe that conservatives are just a bunch of disgruntled, middle class and rich white people over the age of 50. Most media outlets perpetuate that narrative and that leaves a huge untapped market when it comes to politics and entertainment (entertainment politics?) – that coveted 18-29 year old demographic. There are oodles of faithful, pro-constitution, pro-growth conservatives who belong to the “Daily Show generation”. They have the intelligence and the desire to be more engaged in the political process but they don’t want to be bored. They want to laugh. They want to be entertained. Older Americans might find this shallow but regardless, it is a way of life now.
Kids like the Misfits and programs like “Merica” are stepping in to change that tired narrative. However, there is still an enormous hole in the market just waiting to be filled. Says Morse, “The youth came out in droves for Obama because the left knows how important pop-culture is and utilized it very very well. They listened to what the kids said, crafted a plan out of it, took their hands, and lead them willingly into the dark.”
Morse goes on to quote the late Andrew Breitbart – “If you can’t sell liberty and freedom then you suck”. Conservatives haven’t been “selling” freedom lately. We’ve always believed it sells itself. But (as Morse points out) the left has been repackaging freedom as something else and the youth of America are buying it in droves. It’s time to start selling freedom to our youth; and they aren’t watching the Cosby Show and A.L.F. (oh yeah, I went there) anymore. They’re watching Jon Stewart and Bill Maher and Family Guy.
I won’t recommend “Merica” to you (but I will recommend the Misfit Politics website in general). It is raunchy and snarky and if you don’t like cussing, you won’t like this show. However, if you are a fan of South Park it will definitely appeal to you. The whole point of this post isn’t to get conservatives to support projects they don’t like, but to help conservatives see that there are all kinds of jobs to be done as we battle for the American Dream. We don’t have to like each job, like each approach or even like each person in this movement. But we do have to understand that times have changed and now our outreach needs to change too. After this election it has definitely become official – conservatives ARE the counter culture; and now we have some Misfits to help lead the rebellion!