An Uproar of Absurdity
Even the jaded among us might be surprised by the absurd longevity of the “Uproar over [Bristol] Palin” on Dancing with the Stars. It’s difficult to ignore, though, the fact that such pop-cultural controversies can be relatively benign stand-ins for more substantial ideological and political battles:
This latest reality show tempest highlights the power of popularity over talent when mostly unregulated public voting is involved and, perhaps more dramatically, the polarizing effect of the Palin family name, which received prominent attention earlier this month in one of the most heated elections in recent memory.
Note the word “unregulated.” The general sides are easy to draw: One side wishes to restrict criteria and channel participation toward its preferred outcome; the other side wishes criteria to be open so that it can persuade and, well, channel participation toward its preferred outcome.
The bit of insight underlying this particular controversy is that the Left has recognized the value of having its tacit dominance of pop culture and entertainment unchallenged for nearly the past half-century, and the Right willing to be more forthright (and honest) in its subversion:
Sarah Palin supporters helped organize campaigns to keep her daughter on the show, like radio talk host Tammy Bruce’s “Operation Bristol.” Conservative blogger Kevin DuJan’s Hillbuzz.org website also led a get-out-the-vote effort and wrote after Tuesday’s results that Palin “drove the Left crazy for three months. Score!”
It’s no surprise that Jennifer Grey, who found fame with the movie Dirty Dancing, won a dance competition centered around the premise of placing unlikely stars on the dance floor. It’s never a surprise when mainstream shows, like So You Think You Can Dance, make left-wing political statements. And perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that the Left would squeal when it opens up the voting lines and Americans offer a different view.