Conservatism Re-Emerging as the Counterculture

Counterculture usually means the antithesis to the existing culture. That term has been around when it was coined by the Hippies as a description of their iconoclastic destruction of civil society. That term was picked up and used by the left, including not only the politicians, but the Academy and Media, whose loud voice has managed to convince people that Liberalism is actually the main culture, the preferred culture. But that’s a lie. In fact, the majority of Americans are conservative, both in culture and in practice. The power concentration on the left fights to keep the misrepresentation going; but in reality, most people are civil. They follow the laws, go to work, worship in churches of all denominations, and do not engage in criminal conduct. That is the description of a conservative life style, and people who live it are in reality deeply rooted conservatives, whether they recognize it or not. Here, I use the term Counterculture to mean that Conservatism is once again emerging to vanquish the destructive regressive culture of Political Correctness and the disintegration of morality. It is now necessary for people to recognize how they live and begin reasserting the facts.

It’s already happening. The 2014 elections, together with the Israeli and British elections, are a clear indicator that Liberalism is not as palatable to most people, including most voters, as the Left wants everybody to think. And their preference for Conservatism is beginning to show in popular culture. In a recent piece entitled Five Principles for the Rising Conservative Counterculture (appearing in The Federalist) author David Marcus offers recommendations for regaining the main position in modern society, re-establishing the strong voice of Conservatism in our culture through the arts. He states, “The Right is realizing how important it is to compete in what I call the cultural ground game. As conservatives begin wading into these waters, which have been dominated by a progressive hegemony for so long, we begin to define and forge the uncreated principles of our counterculture.” What Mr. Marcus calls the Conservative Counterculture may already be re-emerging. Indeed there is evidence that it has even gotten a substantial foothold.

Consider that TV series NCIS has been a major hit, as is Blue Bloods. Both are examples not merely of the good story, but both show the distinction of right from wrong in the tradition of the old Dirty Harry movies and the classic Westerns, but do so with currency and style. Leroy Jethro Gibbs and Frank Regan are cast in the model of the hero, fighting for right, not unlike the old comic book prototypical super heroes (albeit without super strength, ex-ray vision or the ability to fly unaided by aircraft). There are other precedent examples of this model. The old pulp magazines from the 20th Century almost always cast hero against villain. Sam Spade, Philip Marlowe and Mike Hammer were good guys, even if somewhat seedy, and their arch enemies were bad guys to a man (or woman) and without question.

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Likewise the series Bones
revolves around the hero Seeley Booth and his wife Temperance Brennan, who have not the slightest problem identifying their purpose—to fight bad guys, indeed to wipe them off the planet and make life safe for peaceable citizens in all walks of life—and the bad guys are unmistakable. There are no gray areas. Even religion comes into play. The Regans are Catholics as is Seeley Booth. Brennan is an atheist, but her sense of justice and empathy for her husband’s convictions informs her morality and ethical standards.

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Indeed, it is entirely possible to create and produce good art which illustrates and promotes good basic American values. Incidentally, “good” and “American” in the same sentence is almost a redundancy. This country was founded on honest principles which can only be construed as the best in human history. Fifty Shades of Gray and movies that carry the message that the eternal verities of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty are debatable or in some way just old hat do not carry a set of ideals that work in life, but only within the restricting and deadening compound of the Academy and Hollywood, where real life does not exist.

In large part, the answer for promoting a Conservative Counterculture is given in Mr. Marcus’s Five Principles, which include the vital element of courage. The more open we Conservatives are with our art, writing, production, and other artistic/creative efforts, the more viable our ideas will be in the public marketplace. Indeed, the recognition that once again it is possible to watch TV or go to the movies, read a book, or see a play that does not offend our basic decency or fly in the face of our values, will cause our authentic Conservative CULTURE to vault geometrically back into the mainstream.

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