And of course Olbermann is having a field day with it.
I can’t say that I agree with Glenn Beck on his recent decree that tea partiers should stop wearing costumes and the like to rallies. Keith Olbermann recently featured my husband’s tongue-in-cheek quasi fictions rock band, The Sounding Fathers, in a video montage wherein he criticized Beck’s newfound insistence that ralliers leave the costumes and signs and dress “normally.” What Olbermann doesn’t get is that The Sounding Fathers, who played a set of liberty-infused rock like Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” was entertainment. Rallies of that size are entertainment first and politics second.
What Beck doesn’t seem to get is that it was this stuffed shirt reserve that made conservatism look uncool in the first place. People are finally discovering that conservatism is truly counter culture, rebellious, anti-excessive authority, James Dean, so don’t demand that folks go all pants-suit and abandon the implements which made this movement fun, attractive, and mainstream.
Conservatives lost ground in academics because they gave it up. They lost ground and completely ceded arts and entertainment because they thought themselves above it. They almost ceded social media, were it not for the #dontgo movement. Now you want to take what has been a successful grassroots movement and morph it into a watered-down country club style-protest? I may be exaggerating, but is it not also exaggeration of some extent to focus so much attention on whether or not someone wears a costume to an event? Beck acts like it’s akin to a furry convention instead of a few people here and there.
Who says political revolutions have to be stuffy and solemn? Who appointed an arbitrator to decide what is or is not acceptable dress, performance in what is a self-policing movement? Beck isn’t talking about the rare, if not planted, signs at events here.
I’m saying that maybe it’s time to lose — oh, I don’t know — the Statue of Liberty costume, you know?
Maybe no more dressing up, you know, with Abe Lincoln or, you know, putting the foam finger on your head or something like or the “Obama is a socialist” T-shirt. You might want to put it back in the drawer and let me explain why.
It’s very important that you understand the image — the image. Do what you want to do, but when you dust off the Statue of Liberty costume and wear it to a rally, guess who gets plastered on the front page of the news? You. And this is a problem.
I was in Seattle about a year ago and there were 10,000 people there. And as I was leaving, I saw somebody who was wearing a Statue of Liberty outfit. And I thought to myself, that’s going to be the one person they pick — just to make you look like you’re crazy. Guess what was in the Seattle P.I. the next morning? That one person.
And as much as my daughter says, “Dad, I don’t care what people say about my clothing” — well, other people do. Other people do. Don’t give the media even a chance to typecast you.
Why, after all of these months of Beck telling his audience not to measure their success by liberal media accounts does he suddenly backtrack and tell people not to dress up else liberal media will put you on the front page of a publication that no one reads anyway? The media typecasted conservatives BEFORE the movement or a few people in costume, they will continue to do it AFTER because why? They don’t like what we believe or who we are. Period. They typecast us for wanting limited government, for wanting to privatize social security, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But I’ll tell you, you know what aides in this typecasting? Beck inadvertently assisting this narrative with the above.
The directive completely contradicts some hidden ethos of a movement inspired by, in part, a desire for more individual liberty.
I’ve met Beck, I’ve hosted an event for him here in my city when he came in for Bold/Fresh. He’s a genuinely nice guy, but on this, I must disagree. Make the revolution fun, betray the conservative stereotype, don’t feed it.
If you would like to get involved with the Block Captain Brigade liberty evangelism program which works neighborhoods on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, please email Ben.Evans@stlouisteaparty.com. Thanks to all who came out and all the amazing volunteers to so selflessly give of their time and talents to advance the cause of limited government and individual liberty.
I received this hilarious email from listener Jim with the accompanying photo:
I’m sending his book back. His comments about O’Donnell were the trigger. He made a major mistake, he took off his mask and let us see who he really represents behind the scenes, big government and washington as usual politics. This tea partier has no desire to go back to the glory days of Hastert, Tom Delay, Trent Lott, and a Bush that could never seem to find his veto pen to control his own party.
There has been some speculation that Rove is setting himself up as the bad guy in order to help fuel conservative voter outrage and assist getting people to the polls this November, which, if true, is bad strategy because it presupposes that voters aren’t already on their own merit sufficiently outraged. They’ve been doing just fine right now without the assistance of any political dark arts. The other alternative is that he is as beltway and blockheaded as they come and has effectively neutered for the future any credibility or influence he may possess. One is obviously less ridiculous than the other, but the more I hear him speak the more I wonder if there really is no spoon and it’s really the latter.