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Sep 20 2013

Writer Shocked Reality TV Show Doesn’t Help Republicans

Rachel Alexander is the editor of the badly misnamed website Intellectual Conservative and she writes a profoundly absurd column for the Christian Post that is filled with so many inane claims that one hardly knows where to begin. But let’s start with the first two paragraphs, wherein she expresses shock that the popularity of a reality TV show hasn’t resulted in landslide victories for Republicans.

Americans appear to have begun entering a more conservative phase, reflected in part by the popularity of the family-oriented, God-loving TV show Duck Dynasty. Although it is not a big expensive production, just a reality show, it has become the second most popular show on cable TV.

Yet this isn’t translating into changes in Americans’ politics or their government. Americans are still voting for Democrats, accepting socially liberal positions and expanding government.

Imagine that. How completely shocking that must be to an “intellectual conservative.”

The average American now owes $52,878.60 in federal debt. If each American was forced to pay their share of the debt now, you can guarantee the vast majority would start voting for Republicans.

Why? Most of that debt was accumulated under Republicans, not Democrats. Republicans talk about “smaller government” and fiscal responsibility. They talk about it a lot. But when in power, they do the opposite. Federal debt rose 189% under Reagan (and his proposed budgets were actually larger than those passed by Congress), 55% under the first President Bush (in only one term), 37% under Clinton, 86% under Bush and, through 2011, 35% under Obama. Republicans are worse than Democrats when it comes to the deficit and the federal debt and it’s been that way for a long time.

And then back to her obsession with Duck Dynasty:

The left is also winning the culture war. While Americans deep down prefer shows like Duck Dynasty, they’re allowing the left to win on social issues.

Alexander seems to have this bizarre idea that just because some small percentage of the country (it gets about 12 million viewers a week, less than 4% of the population) likes to watch the hijinks of a quasi-real example of the Beverly Hillbillies does not mean they share their political views. I don’t know why this seems so difficult for this “intellectual conservative” to grasp.

Conservatism is too cerebral for many Americans. Consequently, the right has to try twice as hard as the left to gain support for its policies. This means working smarter too, by using methods that are effective like emotional arguments. Although it may feel foreign to most on the right to use an emotional argument about something that is not terribly worthy of emotion, to continue down the same old path that no longer works is slowly making the Republican Party a minority. Republicans need to quit lamenting over the backwards fact that the most intelligent party is not the most successful.

The mind boggles. No, the Republican party would never use shallow appeals to emotion — *cough cough* flag burning, pictures of aborted fetuses, Lee Greenwood songs, gays are icky. Because they’re just so gosh darn smart. I think my eyes just rolled to Beijing and back.

50 comments

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  1. 1
    John Pieret

    Conservatism is too cerebral for many Americans.

    Yeah, the Tea Party (which is running the Republican Party right now … just ask John Boehner) has long been known for its erudition and scholarship.

  2. 2
    d.c.wilson

    Duck Dynasty is popular because it’s self-described rednecks doing stupid shit, just like Jersey Shore was popular because it was a bunch of self-described “guidos” doing stupid shit. It has nothing to do with politics.

    I bet sh thinks Jesus appeared in grilled cheese sandwich, too.

  3. 3
    Ellie

    I had to Google Duck Dynasty the first time someone mentioned it to me. Some Americans, believe it or not, do not watch “reality TV.” I guess I’ll never be persuaded to vote Republican. Ah well…

  4. 4
    a miasma of incandescent plasma

    …the popularity of the family-oriented, God-loving TV show Duck Dynasty. Although it is not a big expensive production, just a reality show, it has become the second most popular show on cable TV.

    Yet this isn’t translating into changes in Americans’ politics or their government.

    I KNOW! It’s so confusing!!

    Just like when all those people went and saw the movie E.T. but then didn’t all join the SETI program!

    I’m all like, C’mon America! Gosh

    I guess intellectuals like me can’t figure out stupid people. That has to be it. Yup.

  5. 5
    Modusoperandi

    “Republicans are worse than Democrats when it comes to the deficit and the federal debt and it’s been that way for a long time.”

    Well, that’s only because the Democrat Party won’t let Republicans cut taxes enough. Seriously, one or two more good tax cuts and Trickle Down should start for real, we promise.

    d.c.wilson “Duck Dynasty is popular because it’s self-described rednecks doing stupid shit, just like Jersey Shore was popular because it was a bunch of self-described ‘guidos’ doing stupid shit. It has nothing to do with politics.”
    Lies! The Teabagger Congress is a reality show, too!

  6. 6
    Jordan Genso

    The average American now owes $52,878.60 in federal debt.

    I always find that claim to be rather silly. We do not have an equal liability on the debt. Liabilities are applied to assets.

    The way I look at it, that debt is against the total wealth of the country. So for every dollar, X% is owed towards the debt. If the government decided to pay off the debt by printing $17 trillion more dollars and using those, that would cause dramatic inflation, but that inflation would not affect us equally in terms of total dollars, but instead equally in percentage. Every dollar you had would become less valuable. We would all lose an equal percentage of our net worth, rather than an equal dollar amount.

  7. 7
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Wasn’t it Rick Perry who famously said smart people will never vote Republican? This person thinks the right-wing ” conservatives” are too cerebral for the majority of the US population?

    Hmm .. Go figure.

  8. 8
    tubi

    “Duck Dynasty” is stupid. Now, as to shows I do watch, I wonder what Jarrod and Brandi’s political and religious views are.

    Also, “Big Bang Theory” gets a shit ton of viewers each week, way more than DD, but it hasn’t translated to more Americans supporting science or the space program. Rachel’s premise is flawed.

  9. 9
    Johnny Vector

    The average American now owes $52,878.60 in federal debt. If each American was forced to pay their share of the debt now, you can guarantee the vast majority would start [something something something]

    Ooh, let me try! Let’s see… “The average American now owns 7.735 acres of federal land. If each American was given their share of the land now, we’d all be [wacka wacka wacka]”

    Or is there some logic to the idea of forcing everyone to pay their pro-rata share of the federal debt that I’m missing?

  10. 10
    zero6ix

    …to continue down the same old path that no longer works is slowly making the Republican Party a minority.

    I know, right? It’s almost like they want to conserve something, as opposed to changing and fixing whatever is broken. Oh well, let’s watch the beaded ones make duck calls and swim in their money bin. Those guys have all the answers.

  11. 11
    Curt Cameron

    The average American now owes $52,878.60 in federal debt. If each American was forced to pay their share of the debt now, you can guarantee the vast majority would start voting for Republicans.

    ‘Cause nothing makes people vote Republican like having no money! It’s completely obvious because of how the very poor are solid Republicans!

  12. 12
    justawriter

    She obviously never heard the phrase, “We’re not laughing with you, we’re laughing at you.” Next thing you know she’ll citing Cops! as proof that ‘Murica supports “stop and frisk.”

  13. 13
    DaveL

    We would all lose an equal percentage of our net worth, rather than an equal dollar amount.

    Not really, since people vary in what percentage of their net worth is held in “cash” assets valued in U.S. dollars. Hyperinflation would not reduce the value of, say, real estate.

  14. 14
    vilstef

    Conservatism is too cerebral for many Americans?

    What’s cerebral about saying no and being useless and obstructive? That’s what most in Congress who call themselves Conservatives do.

  15. 15
    Area Man

    Duck Dynasty is a real-life Beverly Hillbillies, and gets viewers for the exact same reason. Also, it’s easy to assume that popular TV shows somehow reflect the zeitgeist of the moment without realizing just how few people watch them. Some of DD’s premiers topped 10 million viewers, which is great, but that equals about 3% of the population.

  16. 16
    Modusoperandi

    DaveL “Hyperinflation would not reduce the value of, say, real estate.”
    Yeah, it takes Wall Street to do that, amirite? C’mon, high five! C’mon! Anybody?
    What, too soon?

  17. 17
    hunter

    “Conservatism is too cerebral for many Americans.”

    OK — that’s where I sprayed coffee all over the keyboard.

  18. 18
    Jordan Genso

    @13

    You are correct. I knew my comment was flawed as I was writing it. Johnny Vector did a better job saying what I was trying to.

  19. 19
    Chiroptera

    Consequently, the right has to try twice as hard as the left to gain support for its policies. This means working smarter too, by using methods that are effective like emotional arguments.

    They certianly got the “emotional arguments” down. And other methods, too, like gerrymandering and voter suppression!

  20. 20
    sigurd jorsalfar

    The national debt is just the total amount of money deposited in savings accounts at the Federal Reserve Bank. The way it gets paid back is the Fed transfers the money from the holder’s savings account to their checking account. That’s it. Taxpayers have nothing to do with it. No money will ever have to be taken from anyone to pay it.

    The greatest economic lie of modern times is that there is this horrible thing called the national debt that we all owe a part of and that we or our grandchildren will someday have to pay back out of our own pockets.

  21. 21
    eric

    Although it is not a big expensive production, just a reality show, it has become the second most popular show on cable TV.

    Which is a bit like saying it’s the second-fastest runner at the local High School; it does not mean you are objectively fast (or popular)

    Here is the latest top 10 list from Nielson. Do you see Duck Dynasty? I don’t. That means that at best, less than 5.5% of viewers watch it.

  22. 22
    otrame

    It really never occurs to her that people watch to make fun of them, does it? Amazing.

  23. 23
    Geds

    eric @21: Here is the latest top 10 list from Nielson. Do you see Duck Dynasty? I don’t. That means that at best, less than 5.5% of viewers watch it.

    You have to flip the chart to cable TV, wherein DD is actually 2nd, if you combine the three different NFL slots above it into one thing.

    Meanwhile, I notice that the top 10 includes Burn Notice and, as I suspected, Breaking Bad. For some reason this hasn’t translated into a great American desire to become blacklisted super spies or meth dealers.

  24. 24
    Geds

    You know what the Nielsen ratings show was twice as popular as Duck Dynasty? Football Night in America’s Sunday night rain delay theater. I think that means that Americans are starting to turn against the Great Climate Change Hoax by relentlessly watching coverage of things that are getting rained out, thereby proving that they don’t think it will keep raining forever.

    Either that or they think god was going to smite the godless west coasters of Seattle and San Francisco.

    Or maybe they were waiting for ark building tips.

  25. 25
    democommie

    “God Loving”? Because they say fucking grace before tucking into their “real” dinner at the end of the show*? One of the boys used to be a preacher but now he does PR for the cump’ny. I guess he loves Mammon more than JESUS. Only one of the uncles was in the military, they ain’t super patriots, so where do they get off bein’ like, ALLMurKKKan Republi…, oh, that’s right, my bad.

    If they stay on the air long enough it will come out that they’ve been buying their reeds in China from some company that makes them from the shinbones of political prisoners.

    * I googled it, I don’t watch any of that stupid shit. I kill my brain cells the old fashioned way, with airplane glue.

  26. 26
    Area Man

    For some reason this hasn’t translated into a great American desire to become blacklisted super spies or meth dealers.

    Manufacturer. Not dealer!

  27. 27
    Modusoperandi

    It’s not “dealer”, and it’s not “manufacturer”. It’s “Job Creator”.

  28. 28
    oranje

    Too cerebral? Are they also too cerebral to figure out economic policy, foreign policy, climate science, biology, astronomy, *breathe* medicine, reproductive health, psychology…

    Hang on, I’m not done…

  29. 29
    eric

    Geds – you are right! According to Nielson, about 5.4% of viewers watch it.

    I admit, however, that I am not cerebral enough to understand how she took data showing about 1 in every 20 viewers watched it and reach the conclusion “While Americans deep down prefer shows like Duck Dynasty…” That must take some heavy cerebralling.

  30. 30
    dugglebogey

    I watch a lot of television and I’ve never seen a nano-second of Duck Dynasty.

    The only reason I know it’s a phenomenon is because I see displays of sincerely STUPID SHIT for sale in gas stations and Wal Mart with their name all over it.

  31. 31
    Geds

    eric @29: Geds – you are right! According to Nielson, about 5.4% of viewers watch it.

    Which, humorously enough, makes your initial statement that they get 5.5% at most correct.

  32. 32
    busterggi

    I don’t have anything again Duck Dynasty but prefer the piquant intellectualism of Honey Boo-Boo and Call of the Wildman.

  33. 33
    Randomfactor

    I thought Honey Boo Boo’s endorsement meant that Romney had a lock on the Presidency…

  34. 34
    mikeym

    At least the Clampetts were smart enough to leave Bug Tussle behind. The Duck Dynasty clan are the Beverley-Hillbillies-who-never-reached-Beverley-Hills.

  35. 35
    Moggie

    In a cerebral* poll today, 58% of American conservatives didn’t know what “cerebral” means, 30% called the pollster elitist for using the word, and 12% yelled incoherently.

    * Conducted entirely inside my head.

  36. 36
    Reginald Selkirk

    … likes to watch the hijinks of a quasi-real example of the Beverly Hillbillies does not mean they share their political views.

    An interesting example, Ed. In 1984, Nancy Kulp (Miss Hathaway) ran for congress, and Buddy Epsen (Jed Clampett), alarmed by her liberal politics, spoke out against her and even appeared in a radio commercial for her opponent.
    link
    BTW, in 1989 came out as a lesbian

  37. 37
    kantalope

    I want to be a blacklisted spy. It looks like almost as much fun as bein a mythbuster.

  38. 38
    felidae

    Bilious O’Reilly claims to have the biggest viewership in cable news yet three times as many people tune in to watch rednecks do stupid things as watch a bigoted, ignorant snob say stupid things

  39. 39
    R Johnston

    Ah, projection. Just because conservatism is too cerebral for self-styled “conservatives” doesn’t mean it’s too cerebral for sentient Americans. Considered risk aversion, and more specifically a skeptical but open-minded attitude towards change and government regulation, is several orders of magnitude too cerebral for the modern American right wing. “Conservatives” these days are sociopathic radicals, demanding catastrophic change for the fun of catastrophe, not conservatives.

  40. 40
    Synfandel

    Wasn’t it Republican Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who said, “We’ve got to stop being the stupid party. It’s time for a new Republican Party that talks like adults”?

  41. 41
    Synfandel

    I wonder what Honey Boo Boo’s political stance is.

  42. 42
    Doug Little

    The left is also winning the culture war. While Americans deep down prefer shows like Duck Dynasty, they’re allowing the left to win on social issues.

    People are laughing at you not with you. I guess conservatives don’t get this concept.

  43. 43
    Crudely Wrott

    Quack, quack! Quack, quack, quack! Quack, quack, whack! Whack, whack . . . whack . . . oh. Oh!

    Whacko, whacko, whacko! Whacko!!!!

    See how that works? And I figured it all out by myself even, get this, even having never watched Duck Dynasty!!

    Does that mean I’m a Reducklican now? Gee, I’m ducksmacked. I never would have guessed.

  44. 44
    timgueguen

    The Duck Dynasty gang look to me like they’re playing the fool all the way to the bank. From the bits and pieces I’ve seen it’s obvious how much of it is staged, and the duck boys know the smarter viewers are in on the joke.

  45. 45
    Ouabache

    Although it may feel foreign to most on the right to use an emotional argument…

    Maybe she doesn’t realize that fear and hatred are emotions.

  46. 46
    freehand

    “Conservatism is too cerebral for many Americans.”

    Must be why American scientists, who used to be about 50% Republican, now only show 6% admitting to it. Guess some folks just need facts as a crutch when doing their “thinking”.

    Stupid scientists.

  47. 47
    mjmiller

    Rachel Alexander: “Conservatism is too cerebral for many Americans.”
    Man in Black: “Truly, your Conservative cerebralism is quite dizzying”.
    Rachel Alexander: “Wait until l get going!”

  48. 48
    Rip Steakface

    You know what the Nielsen ratings show was twice as popular as Duck Dynasty? Football Night in America’s Sunday night rain delay theater. I think that means that Americans are starting to turn against the Great Climate Change Hoax by relentlessly watching coverage of things that are getting rained out, thereby proving that they don’t think it will keep raining forever.

    Either that or they think god was going to smite the godless west coasters of Seattle and San Francisco.

    Or maybe they were waiting for ark building tips.

    Well, the “rain delay” was actually a lightning delay. Football doesn’t tend to cancel or delay for rain, especially here in Washington, where it rains 250 days a year. But the lightning, unusual for the area, is indicative of the greater problem.

    And besides, if you lived in Washington, you would know that yes, it does in fact rain forever.

  49. 49
    howardhershey

    “The average American now owes $52,878.60 in federal debt. If each American was forced to pay their share of the debt now, you can guarantee the vast majority would start voting for Republicans.”

    Just for curiosity, even though I know that no government, like no business, should be afraid of all debt if they want to fund the things they need for a productive, expanding future and they actually want that future, I wondered what each person would owe *if* one distributed the debt by % of the national wealth. The top 1% would be responsible for 34.6% of the national debt because they own 34.6 % of the national wealth, and so on down the wealth spectrum to the bottom 40% who own 0.2% of the nation’s wealth. The U.S. population is 314 X10^6 and the national debt is $17 x 10^12. Which gives the stupid simple average of $53 x 10^3 per person.

    By my method, the top 1% collectively owes 34.6% of the $17 x 10^12 debt or $5.9 x 10^12. The population of such individuals is, of course, 3.14 X 10^6, which means that each of these wealthiest Americans would need to pay $1.8 x 10^6. The bottom 40% would need to collectively pay 0.2% of the $17 x 10^12 or $34 x 10^9. 40% of Americans is 126 X 10^6 people. Thus the bottom 40% would need to pay $269 each.

    That puts the national debt into perspective. And remember I am not proposing a *progressive* payment, where those who have benefited the most pay a bit more.

  50. 50
    dingojack

    Duck Dynasty AEC 10:00pm Thursday 9,427,000
    America’s Got Talent NBC 9:’00pm Wednesday 11,190,000.*

    What does that say about American politics, hmmmm?

    Dingo
    ——–
    * Source Neilson. 19 Sept 2013

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