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Sometimes we conservatives don’t appreciate the importance of “cool” in politics. McCain and Romney, different as they are, were squares, while Obama was not. As much as we mock the Hope poster, it was one of many ways that voting for Obama became the hip thing to do and got lots of people to come out who had never voted (and won’t likely be voting for the harridan they’ll be nominating next year).
Ricochetti living in Britain will set me straight if I’m wrong about this, but it seems that UKIP has figured this out to some degree. In substance, it’s the squarest of parties, rejecting everything held dear by right-thinking people, and its leader, Nigel Farage, looks like Homer Simpson with hair. But Farage is hilarious, videos of his comic mockery of EU commissars getting hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. Their choice of a rich purple as the party color was inspired, and this image, which is on t-shirts, could give Obama’s Hope’s poster a run for its money. (“Purple Revolution” is the title of Farage’s campaign book, published last month.)
Maybe I’m reading too much into this, and maybe the pollsters are right that UKIP has peaked in the run-up to the May 7 parliamentary election. Conservatives will always be at a disadvantage in this regard, being the defenders of order and bourgeois respectability. And you can’t just order up some cool from the Cool Store (across the street from the Jerk Store). But we can’t leave this field to the Left. After the Left’s march through the institutions, we are now the counterculture. Patriotism, liberty, and faith are cool in a world of brownshirt attacks on Christian pizza parlors, “Julia”-style anomie, students groaning under debt from their worthless degrees, and an elite selling out America’s workers and America’s sovereignty. It’s up to us to communicate that.Published in