I recently interviewed former American Spectator intern Greg Gutfeld on the weekly podcast that I host for the American Enterprise Institute’s “Values & Capitalism” project. A mere handful of weeks later was asked if I wanted to start blogging at The Spectacle. Coincidence?
My name is R.J. Moeller and I am a recent transplant to the once-fair city of Los Angeles. I’m also a member of the current “Millennials” generation who, apart from blogging/podcasting duties at AEI, moved from Chicago last year to begin working for syndicated talk show host and columnist Dennis Prager. I contribute weekly to the new pop-culture website Acculturated and help with social media for various outlets, including Ricochet.com. My interests include Twitter (@rjmoeller), the moral case for free enterprise, Christian theology, walleye fishing, and subverting progressive ideology in any and every way imaginable.
Aside from my deep-seated respect and admiration for Mr. Prager, the real reason I moved West was simple: When most young conservative guys in their /’20s want to “change things” they head to Washington, D.C., in hopes of landing a plumb job on Capitol Hill or in the beige-colored offices of (insert any think-tank name here). Their days consist primarily of boring meetings led by the 55 year old vision-less versions of themselves and happy hours jam-packed with Type A personalities who are just dying for you to ask them where they went to graduate school.
All right, so I may exaggerate a bit for effect — but not much. And, having been employed by one for the past two years myself, I clearly believe in the work that center-right groups like AEI, Heritage Foundation, etc. do in a place like D.C.
But when young liberals want to “change things” — or even if they have no interest in intentionally changing anything — they move to cultural centers like Los Angeles and start taking Improv classes, writing scripts, forming bands, and going to parties where being anything to the right of Saul Alinsky is grounds for possible excommunication from the artistic community.
We’re not losing to the Left simply because of poor policy-making. The “Big Tent” is not ever-fracturing because we’ve failed to plan enough conferences (for the Republican National Committee to bungle the handling of). And the greatest force for alleviating poverty the world has ever known — free market capitalism — isn’t an eye-roll-inducing term met with misguided indignation among an ever-increasing number of Americans because Mitt Romney saved his best stuff for one measly debate performance in October.
Politics is unmistakably down-stream of culture. It shapes the thinking and worldview of Americans under the age of 30 more than anything else. Popular culture despises everything the Right stands for not because movies or music are un-conservative things, but because the Right abandoned the culture (and corresponding cultural centers) like disillusioned and disgruntled inhabitants of an Old West boomtown circa 1850. The serious problem with this is that the boomtown we deserted was not only still lousy with supremely precious metals, but the folks who moved in when we moved out happened to be our fiercest ideological enemies.
The combination of fiscal licentiousness (economics), unchecked immigration (rule of law) and the moral decadence of Hollywood (values) has put my new home-state of California on a collision-course with a “manifest destiny” — a term, ironically, coined by Democrats in the 19th century — only socially-engineered utopias like Greece could be proud of. Both culturally and politically, California is the canary gasping its last few labored breaths in the coal mine.
And so have I.
Plus, the girls are hot.