Recently, I participated in judging a list of “hot conservatives.” I was somewhat surprised when some really patriotic and well-meaning folks urged me not to use the word “hot.” They claimed the word had come to mean something vile, despite the fact that we had gone to great measures to define our version of the word as a person of character, integrity, courage of conviction and passion.
My reply? I am not willing to surrender any more ground in the culture war. The left will continue to take words and symbols and twist them for their own use if we continue to hand them over so easily.
Not only should we defend our culture, we should go on the offensive. We could defend the old meaning of the word “hot” as the temperature at which something can burn. We could cower, and let the statists and tramps define the word for us. We could never use the word “hot” again because the culturally depraved want our word that used to speak of sunshine and summertime to be skewed to mean something perverse and lewd. Or we could take it for our own use as conservatives: someone who is attractive because of character, integrity, courage of conviction and passion. We could reclaim our words and turn it on them. That’s hot!
Every so often, I am told by a well-intentioned listener that I shouldn’t play pop music on my radio show. They’re afraid I am becoming part of the “evil” culture. To have anything in common with someone in this generation, I am told, is becoming like them. So, I am urged to separate myself from anything in pop culture.
Andrew Breitbart taught us that culture is upstream of politics. If you want to win elections, you must first win the culture. If conservatives separate from the culture, not only will we see the demise of our ideals, but the demise of our republic.
Imagine if hearing a Lady Gaga song made people think of something conservative. Does that sound crazy? Stand by.
When Rush Limbaugh tells the story of choosing his theme song back in the ’80s, he recalls that his listeners were outraged that he chose a song by the Pretenders for his intro. He took a lot of heat for using a liberal song by a liberal singer and was accused of being anti-American, a closet liberal and more. Conservatives urged him to use a song that was patriotic, classical or at least Americana. Even the lead singer, who is a leftist, tried to keep him from using it, but was unsuccessful.
So why not claim that Lady Gaga song, instead of whining that she sang it? Her rage would probably equal that of the Pretenders, whose song is no longer recognized as anything other than “The Rush Limbaugh” song, much to their horror. They even sued to try to stop him from using the song and lost. Now, few people remember the group and even fewer remember the name of the original song, but when they hear that riff, no matter where they hear it, they think of Rush Limbaugh. It has become the Rush Limbaugh song.
What else can we claim as our own, conservatives?