Monday Miscellany, 8/28/23

Monday Miscellany, 8/28/23 August 28, 2023

Conservatives’ pop culture moment, the courts keep supporting religious liberty, and Republican big spenders.

Conservatives’ Pop Culture Moment

Conservative pop culture is having a moment.”  So says, or rather, complains Cate Martel in her article with that title for The Hill.

She cites the phenomenon of “Rich Men North of Richmond,” a song by a rural Virginian named Oliver Anthony posted on YouTube.  It’s a cry of the heart from the American working class that has racked up over 37 million views in just two weeks. And it shot to #1 on the Billboard charts, the first time a singer-songwriter ever managed that with a first song.  I suspect it’s also the first time a singer-songwriter pulled that off without even having a recording contract!  Anthony has reportedly been offered one for $8 million, but he says he isn’t interested.  Conservatives have seized on the song as expressing the frustrations of America’s heartland that they hope to address, and a snippet of the video was played at the first Republican debate.

Shortly before that, another song, this one by the more established country star Jason Aldean, hit #1:  Try That in a Small Town. The song and video contrasts cities with their Black Lives Matter riots and defund the police progressivism with the traditional values of small town America.  Country Music Television refused to play it, bending to the politically correct mindset of the entertainment industry, but that didn’t stop it from becoming a monster hit.

Martel also discusses another outsider success story, the movie “Sound of Freedom,” based on a true story about a man’s battle against child sex traffickers.  As we’ve mentioned at this blog, this independent, crowd-funded, faith-friendly movie beat out the expensive Hollywood repetitions of “Indiana Jones” and “Mission Impossible.

Notice that all of these  projects by-passed the normal channels of the left-leaning entertainment-industry.  We now have the technology to go around the gatekeepers of every kind, to their great consternation. 

Martel quotes media scholar Joel Penney who said that older conservatives “didn’t think that pop culture was even worthy of attention.”  Now, though, conservatives are realizing that “the path towards long-term political success [is] to take back the pop culture from the left, which they see as totally dominating the entertainment world.” (More to come on this subject.)

Courts Keep Supporting Religious Liberty

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that a Catholic school could indeed fire an unmarried employee who got pregnant for having sex outside of marriage.

Read this for the details.

Despite the cultural impulse to punish Christian institutions for holding to their long-held teachings about sexual morality and despite progressive efforts to use anti-discrimination laws to force them to violate their convictions, courts keep ruling that the Constitution is on the side of religious liberty.

Republican Big Spenders

From a Wall Street Journal editorial (behind paywall), quoting Nikki Haley during the GOP debate:

“You look at the 2024 budget: Republicans asked for $7.4 billion in earmarks. Democrats asked for $2.8 billion. So you tell me who are the big spenders.” Those figures are backed by a Roll Call story last month: “House Republicans have so thoroughly stacked the earmarking deck in their favor in appropriations bills for the upcoming fiscal year that the top Democratic recipient doesn’t even appear in the top 60.”




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