Dear Readers: On tonight’s Canto Talk show, I join the other co-founders of the SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition, Sarah B. and Dawn Wildman, to discuss the Tea Party movement at its 4-year anniversary. The focus will be on how citizen activist can better use pop culture to support the ideals of fiscal restraint, limited government, and citizen participation. (7 PM PST, 9 pm CT/ 10 pm EST – CLICK HERE FOR SHOW LINK)
I think the pop culture overhaul is long overdue for the conservative movement, and is an idea being promoted at Legal Insurrection by Professor Jacobson: Upworthy — or, How we are losing the internet to lowest of low information young liberals
I previously wrote about how BuzzFeed Politics has combined “the culture” and savvy crafting into a highly effective tool for undermining Republicans with subtle and not-so-subtle mockery. “Look at the goofy cat, look at the goofy celeb, look at the goofy Republican” is more dangerous to us than a 5000-word article in The New York Times Sunday Magazine.
To follow up on that theme, I happened upon a website called Upworthy, which had one its posts run at HuffPo, Elizabeth Warren Asks The Most Obvious Question Ever, Stumps A Bunch Of Bank Regulators.
The post was so wrong on substance, I just had to click over to the source.
And therein I learned what millions of very low-information young liberals already knew — there is this website called Upworthy which is one giant liberal activist social media machine which creates viral social media memes in the cause of liberal political activism….
The social media has helped propel the video to over 600,000 views as of this writing. It’s on target to exceed Warren’s Factory Owner rant.
There is nothing like Upworthy or BuzzFeed on the right. The closest we have come is Twitchy, Michelle Malkin’s brilliant website.
Are you surprised that Obama won the youth vote even though his policies are a complete disaster for the young?
We are losing the fight to the lowest of low information voters, who are pushed toward a liberal agenda by very smart and talented people who understand the power of social media in a way we don’t.
So often when I ask readers to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, I’m met with comments about privacy concerns on Facebook and “I don’t do Twitter” type responses. Fair enough, but at least understand the swarm effect a website like Upworthy can create based on dumbed-down politically-savvy social media interactions, and how that swarm may result in Elizabeth Warren being on the Democratic 2016 ticket if Hillary doesn’t run.
When I read about plans for Republicans planning to narrow the digital divide, I can’t help thinking we are fighting the last war.
That theme is also highlighted by Brietbart writer Liberty Check, “Why LOLcats Matter in Politics”
As in-fighting in our own movement continues, I am reminded of the left’s struggle and rebirth after 2002. That’s where we are now. It’s easy for many on our own side to lose sight of the long game, the perpetual fight – the fight against the left’s permanent infrastructure, which is one that embodies a nexus of politics, media and culture combined. The power of cultural memes and viral messaging to counter political ideology doesn’t just happen autonomously. To speak to the low information audience today, you need to create the infrastructure of the future.
Our existence is about more than just the issue of the day that consumes our attention, or the candidate we’re all fighting over today. Our existence depends upon weaving technology, new media and culture into our messaging and into our mechanisms. That’s infinitely more than just “incorporating social media” or “bridging the digital divide.” It requires creating a culture unto its own.
When you do the permanent infrastructure right, tackling individual elections suddenly becomes easier. Just remember, that LOLcat might mean more to politics than you ever imagined possible.
Andrew Breitbart used to say, “Politics is downstream from culture.” That should be the mantra of our movement, and of all who invest in it.
And fans of The Shrine now I am all about the pop culture references!