My mentor, Andrew Breitbart, was fond of pointing out that culture was upstream of politics. But so is counterculture. And as Hollywood and the media have come to be dominated in extraordinary fashion by the Left, the counterculture has risen: cynical about the entertainment industry, annoyed by their constant pandering, irritated by their snide self-assurance. It’s not that the Right has created a cultural milieu that can counter the power of the Left — it’s that the Right has responded to the Left by channeling their lack of a cultural outlet into politics. Conservatives didn’t respond to Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert by creating a conservative version of Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert. They responded by electing Donald Trump, a Republican Congress, a Republican Senate, Republican governors, and Republican statehouses.
This has created a truly bizarre situation that feeds the polarization in our politics: Never has the hegemonic dominance of the Left been quite so strong in the cultural arena, and rarely has the hegemonic dominance of the Right been quite so strong in the political arena. And this polarization is self-enforcing: The cultural arbiters are so angry with the rise of conservative politicians that they’ve doubled down on their rage and extremism. Instead of reaching out to the other side, they’ve declared the other side evil, untouchable, foolish.