I’ve been kicking around an idea for the past couple years that fits in with your discussion about lifestyle conservatives and their appeal (or complete lack thereof) with voters.

Here’s the thesis. Everything comes down to the movie ‘Footloose’. For a large majority of people, ‘the’ political question is, “How would the sanctimonious preacher from the movie Footloose feel about this subject?” They answer the question, and then take the opposite position.

This mindset is absolutely ingrained in a lot of people my age (a couple years younger than gen-x). For every preachy moral conservative I’ve met in real life, I’ve seen twenty on TV. For each Baptist I know in real life, I’ve seen ten in movies. To me, they are all the preacher from Footloose.

Jeff Wimble

PS Please run for the Senate.

Not gonna happen, then or now. I think he was right, but the Senate thing was a non-starter.

And on the “Footloose” angle, my brother was telling me about how Tanzania tried to ban soul music and miniskirts back in the late ’60s. Didn’t work out. And here’s a bonus link to the Zambian “Zam-rock” band WITCH, which was influenced by James Brown. More here.

UPDATE: Reader Cindy McNew writes:

Let’s not forget, though, that the Footloose preacher wanted to ban stuff that he and his fellow travelers saw as being bad for the individual (dancing, specifically drunk dancing and then drunk driving, got his son killed). The new Footloose Preachers, the Greens, want to ban stuff that they see as bad for, at best, everybody, and at worst, the nonhuman omnipresent Environment god, and most of them will not even modify their own behavior in example if it involves reducing their comforts.

Consistency is for the little people. Ask Bob Zubrin.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Jacoline Loewen writes:

Your post on Witch, the Zambian band, was terrific. I was born in Zambia and grew up there until 18 and then moved to the border of Alaska. Mining was the industry I knew well.

James Brown performed in Zambia and appeared on Zambian TV and I remember him well. As a young girl, the way he threw around his microphone stand captured my inner rebel and I loved his music. James Brown and Bruce Lee were the two iconic heroes of pop culture for Zambians back then.

Creedence Clearwater was the big band too.

Malawi also banned minis and bell bottoms and females had to wear skirts to the knee or were jailed. It created a culture of fear and control. I was also in Zimbabwe where the Chinese taught Mugabe the art of fear and using it to control the people. It was quite extraordinary moving from that to a place where people did not know fear. I heard a podcast where a guest da driven along a road of bones and the hosts were joking that they wanted a road of bones in their town. No idea of the reality of that name.

I am fascinated with politics and the Conservatives in the US could take note of Stephen Harper and the Canadian Conservatives and how they took power in what is a socialist country. They stayed away from the social issues. Gay marriage was put into law and abortion is a sad reality. Harper made his entire team of right wing politicians shut up and not discuss those two topics. They took on environmentalists, the UN and immigration and made those their social issues. They are now a majority and Harper is the longest serving PM in history.

I agree with the comment on social issues and how Santorum seems a lovely family guy but is trying to make everyone the same as him. Sanctimonious is how he seems, just like those movie preachers.

At least we’re spared Kenny Loggins.