But perhaps what the conservative cups illustrate, even more than diversity, is the conservative mindset: The right may thumb its nose at liberal culture, but it really wants to be invited in. ~Conor Clarke
Most of Clarke’s article is an unremarkable story about the clamouring of certain pundits to become part of the “get people thinking” quotes on the side of Starbucks cups. But there is something to this observation about the desire of some conservatives to be invited into the liberal conversation. It applies especially to prominent conservative pundits. You do get the sense that behind every lament about liberal intolerance and prattling on about the need for real diversity is very often the cry, Why won’t you take me seriously? I’m a good cosmopolitan just like you! I just like lower taxes–please let me come to your party! This need also afflicts a lot of younger conservatives, or those who have come to call themselves conservatives (though they would not know Bolingbroke from Babbitt). We know these people. They are the people who want to find a conservative application for alternative music, or who think being a Republican in high school was an edgy and rebellious thing to do (look at me, I’m a nonconformist!) or who want to find a Christian message in the debased mythology of The Matrix. Nothing boringly conventional about these people! No, instead they manage to be boringly and conventionally unconventional.
In all of this is the desperate need to be patted on the head and granted approval from the gatekeepers of the culture. It is as if, to fight the culture wars, these folks believed that collaborating with the adversary was the path to ultimate victory over them. The entire genre of Christian rock (and, God help us, Christian hip-hop) might be explained by this basic desire. Be culturally subversive for Christ, they might proclaim. Which, besides being infantile and likely to produce really bad music, is pointless.