This is part of a series of posts discussing issues that define the millennial generation. These posts will cover culture, politics, and religion.
The title of this post will inevitably irritate some generation “Xers” or even fans of music. Oh well. Macklemore, along with his producer Ryan Lewis, have made their name on the hip-hop charts with their song “Thrift Shop” and “Same Love.” Thrift Shop caught on as tune because of its satirical look at penny-pinching shopping and its catchy beat. ”Same Love” is a song about accepting gay relationships as similiar to straight ones.
Both songs have a defining characteristic for the millennial generation. With Same Love, its clear that most millennials support same-sex marriage in large numbers and see very little distinction between gay and straight relationships. ”Thrift Shop” takes on an anthem-like tone for millennials wanting to save money during the great recession and, possibly, defining what America will look like post-recession.
I compare Macklemore to Kurt Cobain not as a musician, but as a messenger. Nirvana’s “Smells like Teen Spirit” had a certain angst to it that mocked the entertainment industry and ushered in 90s grudge music to the mainstream. When I look at the millennials, I see a group that as thrifty rather than extragavant, accepting of equality, and comedic in its outlook on life yet still serious enough to use comedy as a tool for discourse. It also shows a sense of maturity for millennials, embracing content over pop. Earlier, I wrote about how Miley Cyrus’s VMA performance killed lewd dancing that portrayed an earlier era of music and could be replaced by something different. Well this could be that thing. In a sense, Macklemore accomplished what Cobain did, by defining a generation and changing music.
Let me know what you think. Can Macklemore be the millennial artist? What other artists accomplish could be considered definitive for the millennial generation?
People are starting to make a lot of noise about Bob Dole’s interview to Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday in which he believes that the Republican Party needs to refocus:
The problem is that Bob Dole’s theory doesn’t really make any sense. It sounds good to say that the Republican Party needs to adopt a more “positive” philosophy of governing or that it needs to focus more on substantive public policy to become viable nationally. Except, the GOP just did that. It had Paul Ryan, the guy who submitted multiple budgets on behalf the GOP and was supported by House each time it came up, as its vice presidential nominee. Mitt Romney ran on a philosophy of running government like a business. He even published a memoir that no one read called No Apology that no one read talking about his ideas. For Godsake, healthcare reform was based on his Massachusetts plan.
What I think the GOP needs to survive are not just policy wonks that can put together coherent policy visions, but they need leaders that can actually sell conservatism as a philosophy and seem likable. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush come from different eras of Republicanism where being defined as a Republican and a conservative are different because times change, but all of them were able to sell their character as the reason for trusting the party (even if some of their ideas weren’t that great). If anyone wants my armchair advice, I’d say that the Republican Party needs leaders that instill confidence and enthusiasm to comeback.
The VA Governors Race is starting to heat up! There are several highlights this race with some fascinating commentary.
First: The Washington Post has some new poll numbers out
“But the state’s apparent ideological shift has clearer consequences for Republicans, who must strike a balance between catering to their core supporters and broadening their appeal to remain relevant in a rapidly changing state.”
Next: Planned Parenthood has a new ad against Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli:
Then: To promote his new tax plan, Cuccinelli also has an ad:
Jennifer Rubin (conservative blogger) writes about the ad:
The difficulty going forward for Cuccinelli is twofold, however. First, it’s not clear where the money for tax cuts is going to come from. Given the balanced-budget requirements, he’ll have to be a whole lot more specific about how he’s going to cut taxes without unbalancing the budget. (And frankly his predecessor has already cut out most of the waste, duplication and inefficiency.) Second, I’m not sure Virginians feel overtaxed. Taxes are lower in Virginia than in neighboring states, such as Maryland. Average voters’ concerns in the commonwealth focus on transportation, education and the middle-class squeeze (i.e. rising health care and college tuition with flat salaries). Cuccinelli will need to show that he’s going to address those issues.
Finally: Democratic Candidate Terry McAuliffe wants to expand the VA governors term stating:
“My preference would be one six-year term,” he said while talking to the owner of a stain glass shop. “One six-year term, you should be able to get a lot done.”
On Tuesday night, former Governor of South Carolina Mark Sanford defeated Elizabeth Colbert-Busch for South Carolina’s first congressional district House seat. Sanford not only won the race, but he won by nine points (54-45%). Journalists, pundits, and casual observers of politics are all pondering the same question: How did a man who only four years ago cheated his wife with an Argentinian woman and lied to the citizens of South Carolina claiming he was hiking the Appalachian Trail while he was off on more exotic excursions? More to the point, this is what everybody was thinking:
From reading reports, he pulled a Rick Santorum, which does not mean what you probably think it means. First, Sanford ran a very Republican district, never underestimate the power of partisan voting blocs. Second, he was personable and charismatic. He became the “New Mark Sanford.” Finally, as Chris Cillizza and Sean Sullivan at the Washington Post point out, Colbert-Busch tried to turn the focus of the campaign on Sanford and it failed.
So how does this connect to Rick Santorum? When Rick Santorum ran for the Republican nomination in 2012, he had to reset his image from the anti-gay, anti-woman, and anti-modern image that voters conceived of him into a plausible nominee. His best route was to win the Iowa caucuses first and hope that would lead to victory in other states. Of course, Santorum couldn’t take back all the problematic statements he made in the past, so he decided to don this look:
GOP voters found this image to be friendly and his style to be easygoing. Not to mention, the former Pennsylvania senator visited all 99 Iowa counties before the caucuses ended and quickly mobilized a large evangelical voter network the weekend before the contest. Nevertheless, he won Iowa, and he did it with charm. Since Santorum couldn’t replicate that strategy everywhere else in the country, he lost the nomination (one of many reasons anyway). Without the tacky sweater vest, Sanford incorporated a similar strategy of handshaking and baby kissing that helped him win South Carolina, which is not all that “inconceivable” after all.
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