Should Liberals Fear Kevin McCullough?
The conservative media activist offers a strategy for permanent right-wing dominance…
The CPAC event, Engaging America through Pop Culture, was in one of the big rooms and it was full. Most attendees had probably come to see the actor Steven Baldwin, but he didn’t bother to show. (In case you can’t remember Steven is the B-List Baldwin brother, the one who is loud about his religion.) I was there on a tip from Tucson Sentinel publisher Dylan Smith to see another panelist, comedian Steven Kruiser, who turned out to be tragically uninteresting.
Then Christian radio broadcaster Kevin McCullough stepped to the podium. After making the perfunctory, lame apology for Baldwin (a Mark Burnett name-dropper that would only impress in Hollywood) McCullough succinctly laid out a point-by-point plan aimed at altering the balance between conservatives and liberals. He was convincing and his idea sounded like it could lead to permanent conservative rule. No kidding.
You see, McCullough is the first Republican to identify the tragic flaw of conservative marketing. He’s figured out (excuse the language) that behaving like an asshole hurts recruitment. The very notion – a kinder, gentler sounding right winger, should scare any committed progressive.
“We’re kind of on the wrong track…There are some well-known icons in the conservative movement who’ve made great kingdoms for themselves. They’ve called John Edwards a ‘faggot,’ and it’s made their book sales skyrocket though the roof. They've called Arabs ‘towelheads’ and it’s done the same thing.”
Of course, he’s talking about Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh, two of the more popular bomb-throwers on the right. But McCullough didn’t quite have the stones to name those he shamed. Nobody in Republican circles seems to want to attract the attention of Limbaugh, lest they later be forced to kiss his EEE shoe.
Mr. McCullough went on to argue that people who haven’t settled on a belief system find these kinds of comments repugnant. He says it makes it hard for them to cuddle up to the conservative movement.
“See, I don’t really care about the icons, they can sell their books and make their money and they can throw flames and they can scorch everything they want in their path and they can completely incinerate it – ad hominem.
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But I don’t think that conservatives have any business being part of that if we want to win the hearts and minds of those who aren’t convinced. Because when you call a presidential candidate a gay slur, those that are in the middle… you’re making it harder for them to want to come and embrace your common sense idea.”