Editor's note: In the March issue of TheBlaze Magazine, Natasha Pascetta, a producer for "The Glenn Beck Program," offers a unique look at who makes up the real rebel movement in America today. In her feature piece "Rebels With a Cause," Natasha points out that conservatism has become the new counterculture—but without all the bad habits of the left-wing hippies of the 1960s and wannabe rebels in the Occupy Wall Street movement.
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Below are a few excerpts and charts from the March 2013 piece on the conservative counterculure. Get the full story only in the March issue of TheBlaze Magazine.
The word “rebel” conjures all sorts of images: that iconic picture of James Dean with his cigarette dangling dangerously from his perfectly formed lips; George Washington and his troops crossing the frigid Delaware River in the dead of night; a leather-clad Billy Idol and his spiked, bleached hair screaming out one of his only hit songs.
How about modern-day conservatism? Though just a few years ago it would have seemed impossible, we may be seeing today the rise of a new counterculture. Yes, the stuffy, straight-laced, emotionless stereotypes of conservatism are simply a façade that hides a much cooler reality. All the sweater vests and endless talk of fiscal responsibility are just one big, genius ruse.
Consider the young student who attends a very liberal college in a very liberal city—as this author did—and whose views are definitely in the minority during classes. It’s through an adherence to conservative principles that the right-wing “rebel” student gets his (and his parents’) money’s worth. Teaming with like-minded colleagues, students can really challenge professors and ask the most questions. Sure, their views are often dismissed as ridiculous and downright wrong, but it’s their liberal classmates who are done a disservice. Conservative students can get so much more out of those classes than the majority of collegiate automatons. And yes, some students might walk out of class feeling like a misfit some days, but they often grow to like that feeling. Walking through the hallways after class, they have a Joey Ramone-like punk swagger.
With the re-election of Barack Obama, conservatism has become the new counterculture—particularly among young adults. Think about it. Throughout history, youth have always been distrusting of any kind of authority. It’s just their nature. In the 1960s, we had the hippies and the New Left rejecting the system and “sticking it to the man.” In the 1970s, young voters led the demand for the impeachment of Tricky Dick over Watergate. Most recently, the protesters at Occupy Wall Street took time out from raping each other in tents to protest the Obama administration and big banks. But they weren’t opposed to anything real. If anything, their drug-induced rants were born out of class envy and the desire to be coddled by bigger government.
Looking back, Occupy Wall Street was probably not radical enough to be considered the “counterculture,” which is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a culture with values and mores that run counter to those of established society.” That’s where conservatism comes in, without all the defecating in public and Guy Fawkes masks, of course.
Young conservatives and libertarians are much more radical in their opposition to “the establishment” than their liberal counterparts. It’s not a flashy, in-your-face opposition—but rather a stealthy steadfastness in the rejection of their peers’ complete faith in government. In this second term of Obama, the preservation of individual freedom has become a “radical” cause for the new counterculture.
Conservatives are up against some pretty hard-hitting stats regarding the youth of the nation. Sixty percent of the young adult (18-29) vote carried Obama into his second term with the thought that the government should do more to solve the country’s problems. And right now, a majority of 18-29 year olds have a more positive view of socialism than they do of capitalism. ...
... This clearly shows that conservatism among the “young kids” is not exactly popular. But let’s not forget that everyone loves an underdog.
‘WE’ VERSUS ‘ME’
Individualism a message that stands in stark contrast to the message of the Left, which is one of serving the collective, the “we”—the Obama administration’s favorite word. Cries of slogans and propaganda such as “Yes, We Can” and “Change We Can Believe In” blatantly and deliberately disregard the more than 300 million individuals living in the United States.
The women’s liberation movement once was about not being defined by a “we” but as a “me.” Women fought for the right to be seen as individuals not against the fraudulent “War on Women.” If it weren’t for young women, Obama probably wouldn’t have been re-elected to a second term: 55 percent of women readily ushered him into office again and, perhaps unbeknownst to them, expedited the destruction of feminism.
With this re-election, the majority of women in this country have shown that they can be bought with free birth-control pills and worthless legislation, such as the Lilly Ledbetter Act. When did the females of this nation become so easy? Women used to be rebels against dependence on men, but now they have let this administration take political advantage of them and are not just dependent on a man but on The Man.
GUT-CHECK TIME FOR YOUNG ADULTS
To the millennials out there:
Does this sound like you or your friends? Maybe it scares you because it makes you question your allegiance to liberal conformity. The Obama administration and the collectivist Left do not have your best interests in mind. You need to depend on yourself for that—but conservatism can offer you much more freedom to explore those interests. ...
Of course, being a part of the counterculture comes with its share of burdens. You are forced to think for yourself. You must celebrate your own weird, unique individualism. And generally keep conservatism and capitalism from becoming extinct. ...