There is a sort of sadomasochistic ritual that Republicans have been engaging in with liberal media elites for quite some time now. My earliest memory of it centers on Ronald Reagan and Bruce Springsteen and their spat over the use of Born in the USA for the 1984 Republican Convention. Here was a prime example of a cultural miscalculation on the part of Ronald Reagan in regard to the music industry. He heard the catchy, almost lighthearted tune woven around the incessant chant of “Born in the USA” and assumed that it must be a happy-go-lucky anthem of praise to the country that Reagan loved so much. Tell the truth, you thought so too the first couple of times that you heard it because the whole song save the refrain is completely unintelligible and purposefully draws you to that conclusion as a way of selling more albums.
To Reagan, he believed that he had found a kindred spirit in the Boss and wanted to use Springsteen’s song to bolster his assertion that American Exceptionalism is alive and well and will not perish off the face of this earth – much to the chagrin of the American Left. Had he taken the time to read the lyrics of the song…and read them you must, because the garbled mass of articulation renders the listener helplessly lost to a good beat which you can dance to, Reagan would have realized that Born in the USA was the same old disaffected psalm of wrath that Springsteen always spews. It was not an anthem it was a smack down. The clash between the Boss and the Man
was then spun and propagandized with great effect by the Democrats who thought this might even be used to make Walter Mondale appear like he had a pulse and a personality, “Bruce Springsteen may have been born to run but he wasn't born yesterday.”
Pithy. But it was a strong reminder to all young Republicans that if we insisted on choosing conservatism over liberalism then we would be forever estranged from the culture which is controlled by the liberal establishment not such a great sacrifice these days, seeing as how culture began nose diving around the mid-1990s and has since fallen into the vast wasteland of Lady Gaga invectives, but there was a lot of fun stuff happening back in the 1980s. It was kind of a hard decision to make. Young conservatives had to accept that they were social pariahs, people to be made fun of...Alex P. Keatons.
And the beat goes on, the beat goes on…because it just so happens that the Republicans insist on repeating this passion play every two to four years in spite of the predicted outcome…which as anyone will tell you is the definition of insanity.
Sidebar – funny how it is that Einstein may well fall into the dustbin of scientific discovery as his theories on the speed of light come into question, but he will forever be remembered for the best definition for insanity. Go figure. I guess irony is relative.
Now, I have a lot of fairly useless knowledge in my head and one of the bizzaro things that I have learned through years of watching CSI et al is that in the world of sadomasochism, the person with all the power is the submissive which is pretty much how Republicans have been acting with regard to art, music and culture in general. The list of Republicans who have been chained and whipped by Hollywood liberals is a long one, the latest being that truly petty rift between Tom Petty and Michele Bachmann…although there are rumors that Petty backed the McCain/Palin ticket in 2008. I can’t imagine what that affiliation would do to his street creds within his social circles. But we see the same tired plot device played out over and again – like a broken record. Republican meets song. Republican incorporates song into messaging. Republican loses song but gains reputation as social outcast. I find it very annoying that the Republican leadership is supposed to be representing all voters who are right of center yet it portrays itself as a wall flower at the high school dance or the pencil pushing nerd who just got pantsed and hung on the flag pole. Snap out of it.
There are plenty of conservative singers who are not ashamed to be associated with Republicans and it’s time that the GOP showed some brand loyalty in this respect. Case in point, Cowboy Troy. Read moreabout it here