The Importance of ‘Cool’

 

purple revolutionSometimes 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.

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  1. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. — George Orwell

    Completely agree we should play up our counter-culture coolness.

    • #1
  2. user_44643 Inactive
    user_44643
    @MikeLaRoche

    Nigel Farage has given the UK what it really needs: a true opposition party.

    • #2
  3. Mama Toad Member
    Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    Here’s Nigel in the Leadership debate in the UK the other day. And at CPAC last month. Great clips.

    At CPAC, he asks, “Shouldn’t politics be fun?” after telling a great joke around that starts around 11:00 in… joke comes around 11:35…

    • #3
  4. Guruforhire Inactive
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Watch The Soup on E!

    Do that.

    • #4
  5. Kay of MT Inactive
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    Mama Toad:Here’s Nigel in the Leadership debate in the UK the other day. And at CPAC last month. Great clips.

    At CPAC, he asks, “Shouldn’t politics be fun?” after telling a great joke around that starts around 11:00 in… joke comes around 11:35…

    Those videos were great.  I put the URLs on my FB page.

    • #5
  6. Mama Toad Member
    Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    Mike LaRoche:Nigel Farage has given the UK what it really needs: a true opposition party.

    At CPAC, he challenges the mostly Republican crowd to be that party.

    He says that the earlier a person gets up to head off to work, the more likely that person will vote UKIP. Is the GOP that party? Are we courting those voters?

    • #6
  7. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    Maybe, but it’s worth noting that John McCain and Mitt Romney came much closer to the White House than Nigel Farage is ever likely to come to Number 10.  Of course it’s not a fair comparison since he’s the leader of a rising minor party, not the nominee of a major party.  But again, that very situation means his tactical needs are different.

    • #7
  8. TheRoyalFamily Member
    TheRoyalFamily
    @TheRoyalFamily

    Mark Krikorian: 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.

    It’s very true. Most young folks still see their parents as conservatives, but more and more are seeing that The Establishment is the Progressive, SJW party. Thing is, we sane center-right folks need to get that headspace; if we don’t, someone less savory will. 

    • #8
  9. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @RobertMcReynolds

    I am a huge UKIP fan.  Daniel Hannan is another great lion of UKIP along with Farage.  I keep hoping to see the establishment of USIP here at home, but it hasn’t happened yet.  The more the establishment GOP digs in behind the trenches of 495 in DC, the closer I think we get to seeing it happen.

    • #9
  10. Mama Toad Member
    Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    anonymous:

    Robert McReynolds:I am a huge UKIP fan. Daniel Hannan is another great lion of UKIP along with Farage.

    Daniel Hannan is an eloquent champion of liberty, fierce opponent of the European Union, and advocate of the Anglosphere. He is, however, a Conservative MEP, not UKIP, and has warned that votes for UKIP might hand parliament to Labour in the next general election.

    Here is his blog at CapX.

    He is also, while a charming and, as you say, eloquent speaker, nowhere near as amusing as Farage.

    • #10
  11. Steve C. Member
    Steve C.
    @user_531302

    Entertaining, interesting, provocative are good terms to describe Farage. Cool is not. Counter Cool? Maybe. As Leigh notes above, the UKIP project has an entirely different strategic thrust as an insurgent party. N.B. American presidential elections are direct, in the UK the leader is selected by the Members of Parliament.

    (Yes, technically we vote for Electors, in effect that system expired during the Age of Jackson.)

    • #11
  12. Steve C. Member
    Steve C.
    @user_531302

    Cool is over rated. Assuming the idea of Cool is a product of the post WWII youth culture, I can count on two fingers the number of successful presidential candidates who are arguably cool. Kennedy and Obama. They are also an argument for the preference of substance over style.

    Cool is as over rated as the youth vote, pace Jonah Goldberg. A cool candidate with good intentions who “cares about people like me” will probably be the death of the republic.

    • #12
  13. Songwriter Inactive
    Songwriter
    @user_19450

    Obama’s “cool” is a facade. It is fake. He is an elitist to the core. But the media told us all he is cool, and people bought it.

    Hillary will fool no one with any such ruse.

    What we need is a candidate that is competent, authentic, and does not pander to the media or run from their questions.

    • #13
  14. Mark Krikorian Contributor
    Mark Krikorian
    @MarkKrikorian

    Robert McReynolds:I am a huge UKIP fan. Daniel Hannan is another great lion of UKIP along with Farage. I keep hoping to see the establishment of USIP here at home, but it hasn’t happened yet. The more the establishment GOP digs in behind the trenches of 495 in DC, the closer I think we get to seeing it happen.

    Actually, Hannan is still a Tory. I seem to remember a friendly exchange on TV between Farage and Hannan on whether it was worth staying in the Conservative Party.

    • #14
  15. SteveSc Member
    SteveSc
    @SteveSc

    I like Farage and Hannan.  They are articulate and you actually get the impression they believe what they say instead of putting their finger into the polling winds to arrive at their positions.

    • #15
  16. SParker Member
    SParker
    @SParker

    Generally agree that we’re on the cusp of aspiring to better values, having seen the alternatives at play; that people who have something to say ought to be interesting; and, that presentation is everything (although this is a sure-fire laugh if I say it to anyone who’s known me for more than 5 minutes, for reasons not entirely clear).  But shopping at the Cool Store is a minefield.

    It’s sort of a Schroedinger’s Cat (a very cool cat, probably, if you could see the critter).  If you think you are, you probably aren’t.  If you don’t think you are, you’re probably right.  If you don’t think about it at all, possibly you might well be, you never know.  Consider this short, mocking Bonzo Dog Band song from the swinging 60s and how it led to people–who probably thought they were way cool–taking it as a serious selling point in the Nitwit 90s  (as serious as any marketing campaign can be, and I’m here reminded of George’s scene in the ad agency in Hard Day’s Night).

    I suspect Pres. O is too cool to say he is, but certainly he’d never see that coolness in his case means having conventional, conformist, lazily considered, and lightly examined attitudes and opinions.  See, not cool.  It’s a hall of mirrors.  Which is a very, very cool Jorge Luis Borjes reference (or would have been 50 years ago).

    • #16
  17. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @RobertMcReynolds

    anonymous:

    Robert McReynolds:I am a huge UKIP fan. Daniel Hannan is another great lion of UKIP along with Farage.

    Daniel Hannan is an eloquent champion of liberty, fierce opponent of the European Union, and advocate of the Anglosphere. He is, however, a Conservative MEP, not UKIP, and has warned that votes for UKIP might hand parliament to Labour in the next general election.

    Here is his blog at CapX.

    Well, I stand corrected.  I guess the way Youtube featured some of his old EU Parliament speeches along with Firage gave me the wrong impression.

    • #17
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