Recently, former Cincinnati mayor Jerry Springer debated FOX Newsman Sean Hannity at the Grand Victoria Casino in Rising Sun, Indiana. About 1,300 people showed up.
You never can tell: I saw two, heavily tattooed Columbine-looking kids, 20 years old tops, carrying beat-to-shit skateboards wearing stickers for Hannity’s local AM station, WKRC. I also saw a silver-haired Greatest Generation type, minimum 68, wrapped in a flag, shouting “Jerry, Jerry.”
Just cause you’re Red doesn’t mean you’re impolite: The unreconstructed rednecks (no offense intended) sitting to my left kindly made a path for me as I got up to get drinks more times than is really acceptable within the social contract of sitting in the middle of a row. (And they knew I was a Leftist. In this kind of setting, you can smell people’s political affiliation like a body odor.)
We’re all idiots: Gone perhaps forever are the days when reasonable people could disagree. Radio talk show hosts are the Screaming Class, the pro wrestlers of politics who dumb down every argument to its absurd extreme—and they perfectly reflect the mood of our country.
But we’re idiots who want to connect with each other: The Springer and Hannity brands are so popular because they help people argue with their in-laws. If you can’t stand your liberal meathead son-in-law, listen to Hannity and get all the ammunition you need. Meanwhile, your son-in-law will be listening to Air America. Then when you meet over the dinner table, you can re-enact what you’ve heard. In this way, these gratingly dumb celebrity pundits provide a script we can use in our real life. And that’s a fast track to brand loyalty.
And speaking of connecting—want to date a neo-con? If so, try Sean Hannity’s dating site, HanniDate, a Web site “where people of like conservative minds can come together to meet.”
And finally, an unsolicited confession: I think it would be kind of dirty hot to date a conservative mind. But that is for another time, and another blog.