As Andrew Breitbart famously said, politics is downstream from culture. So why do conservatives insist on paddling against the current, snubbing arts and culture, and imagining they can win hearts and minds with cold reason alone? In film, music, and the literary and visual arts, the left tells powerful stories that exalt progressive values and denigrate conservative ones. It’s their key competitive advantage in politics, writes Brigitte Pellerin. And it will remain so until conservatives open their minds and wallets to the possibilities of harnessing the power of art to their values.
Author: Brigitte Pellerin
Brigitte Pellerin became an ardent capitalist the day she got her first $11 pay cheque from McDonald’s. She went on to fight for a wide range of right-wing causes as a journalist and political activist. Today, however, she can hardly muster the enthusiasm to vote. Years of disappointments from conservative politicians and parties have left her politically homeless. Pellerin is still on Team Liberty, but as she surveys the Canadian political landscape today, she fears she may be its last remaining member.
How often do you get a blast from the present while reading history books? It certainly happens when the subject is Canadian unity. For instance, if you heard a Quebec politician complain about a supposed fiscal imbalance within our federation because “the share of income tax collected by the province . . . is still clearly inadequate” and claim that “by so often giving short shrift to Quebec’s pleas up to now, the federal government has acted as though it meant to put a brake on our province’s social and economic development”, you could be forgiven for believing that former Parti Québécois premier Bernard Landry had made a comeback. In fact, a Liberal Premier, Jean Lesage, uttered these criticisms in 1963. [i]