Why Film, TV and Novels Serve Conservatism, Regardless of Ideology from Creators
Stories are fundamentally about individuals making choices. Conservatives believe life is about choices and consequences. The Democratic Party and liberals/progressivism are ultimately about the collective, and individuals are irrelevent. Hey, Troy Senik, who wants to see a TV show about the collective workers of the world uniting? Ben Shapiro’s “Primetime Propaganda” may be correct on the insidious planting of topics, but misses the mark in the aggregate: the fundamentals of story conflict, the notion of heroes, and satisfactory resolutions in great storytelling.
Conservatives also put their faith in the private sector, individuals, and voluntary associations such as charities. Liberals champion large, bureaucratic institution (government) to solve all of our problems. Let’s use an example shown on cable tv every day: GHOSTBUSTERS. A massive terrorists attack (Ghosts) in NYC paralyzes the city. A group of private contractors (Ghostbusters) are hired by ineffectual city government to eradicate this menace. Who are you gonna call? Not the government.
Progressive David Sirota's book “Back to our Future” takes the polar opposite position of Mr. Shapiro, and explains how 1980s film and television shaped the cultural underpinnings of today's center-right nation, and champions the individual, private contractors, and mavericks in our society. (FYI--He thinks this is a bad thing). But in reading it, I kept nodding my head in agreement about the A-Team solving the problems that government can’t, and how Family Ties, which was originally designed to lampoon the conservative kid and champion the hippie parents, resulted in the reverse of its original intent.
Here’s another example: Steven Spielberg (D-Hollywood) directed E.T. The world of adults in that film is represented by an oppressive government that invades your home, shuts down an entire town, and grabs your new best friend (who happens to be from outer space). Take a look at the themes that warn against an oppressive government—that individual friendships and perseverance against the government will grant you happiness (as E.T. is reunited with his space buddies). How did this happen from a lefty like Spielberg?
The realities of life are conservative. Art imitates life.