Unlike the GOP, the conservative-entertainment complex is a vibrant beast full of colorful characters and possibility.
You see, instead of creating solutions for governing, conservatives have reached the logical conclusion of their absurdist ideology. When government is the problem, then the only solution is to destroy the government. Hence the ever-more-ridiculous rallying cries (defund Obamacare! Impeach Obama! Self-deportation! Nullify Federal Law! Racism is over! Arm the teachers!)
Simultaneously, while their ability to formulate governing philosophy has crumbled, conservative obsession has a large and growing malignant tumor – the “conservative entertainment complex.” This is not just some vanilla Limbaughism, but rather a full-throated adherence to ideological radicals that pander to extremists. These deluded souls willingly turn over their money to fund increasingly futile political statements. It’s a rather simple mantra:
- Say something crazy.
- Act offended that rational people think it’s offensive in order to agitate the rubes who buy your books.
You see, Bobby Jindal isn’t running for President of the United States. His “Dear Piyush” advice columns (navel gazing, at that!) for the political elite (or anyone will listen) belie a greater end: He’s positioning himself to be Dean of Trump University.
Trump University is a for-profit university, that to nobody’s surprise, is also a complete fraud. Hucksters like Trump sell rubes by teaching them “one weird trick” to get that college degree without actually learning anything new. It’s the ultimate occam’s razor. Turn over your money and we’ll give you that all-important degree. Its founder, Donald Trump, is the culmination of the merger of the conservative movement and the conservative entertainment complex. He is of both, embodied as one. And Trump University is the vehicle to bilk the unwashed masses of angry wingnuts. Like Glenn Beck’s gold buggery, it’s a scam.
By blending fringe ideology, wrapped in linear conspiracies that easily confirm established worldviews, the conservative entertainment complex is the same simple formula: “One weird trick” to install radical policy that promises to easily salve the screeching pangs of the politics of resentment.
Weird. Tricks. That’s what Bobby Jindal is arguing for in his latest missive on race. He’s not confronting societies’ problems or inspecting the status quo and proposing workable solutions to inspire change.
He’s promoting one weird trick (“racism is over” + “education reform is the new civil rights”) which neatly packages the stupid party agenda for the political class. But even with these often-published barbs, he knows he’s never going to be President.
No, this new race whistle is more about building his national brand as another avatar for the aggrieved right. Nothing infuriates conservative radicals more than the constant talk of race. Simply scan the reactions to President Obama’s surprise fireside-chat on the Trayvon Martin case and you’ll see the mere mention of race talk sends the right into a meltdown.
Jindal here is doing them a favor. The same favor that Louisiana Republicans extract from patsies like Elbert Guillory: black and brown people that will confirm that racism is over.
This is the desperate hope of the demographically-disabled conservative movement; that race will just go away, so they can continue their war on voting rights, government benefits, unions, women and anyone else that can be subjugated by crony capitalism and economic darwinism.
This isn’t a popular message with most of America. But it is a lucrative one with a certain sector of fanatics who run conservative politics. Professor Jindal needs you to shut up about race already because it’s not a problem. He said so. Lesson over.
He may never be president, but he might just be dean of Trump University one day.