Richard Blow continues his series of columns about why, as he contends, conservatives are eating liberals for lunch in terms of media effectiveness. This installment takes a look at the ideological changes taking place as the liberal 60s moved into the conservative 80s. This part is interesting (speaking to the rise of conservative newspapers and organizations on college campuses):
These young warriors of the right celebrated their opposition to the mainstream, and while their acting out was often hurtful and destructive — bashing gays and tearing down anti-apartheid shanties — they were also entertaining, outrageous and fearless. I’ll never forget my right-wing Yale classmate who disrupted a seminar on Vietnam (led by a leftie grad student) by blasting Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” — i.e., Robert Duvall’s theme song from Apocalypse Now — out his dorm room window. Yes, it was juvenile. But it was pretty funny, too. And the seminar’s earnest liberals could only mutter and fume in response.
A few lines later, he says: “Conservatism had become counter-culture, and counter-culture is always cool.” And counter-culture nearly always gets commodified and appropriated by the mainstream. This is one of the reasons that someone such as Ann Coulter is taken seriously. Leftist counter-culture of the 60s produced a similar effect and similar outrageous-yet-respected voices.
Is this a cycle? Will the left soon become counter-culture, and therefore cool, again? Hmmmm…