We go through this every year, and it’s exhausting.
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but it’s okay to watch the Super Bowl. You don’t need permission from other conservatives, and you sure as hell shouldn’t be shamed by conservatives saying you shouldn’t watch the Super Bowl because it supposedly celebrates an anti-America mindset.
Obviously some of the players and the NFL itself have done and said terrible things that serve to divide the country and don’t have any upside outside of making them feel good. Many of the entertainers involved fall into that category, too. There’s a very high probability that the commercials this year will be a huge corporate virtue-signaling contest.
But I’m still going to be watching. I love sports, I love football, and I love all of the sports-related memories and traditions I’ve created with my kids over the years. I refuse to allow the people who inject politics into every.damn.thing. alienate me from something I enjoy.
It’s not only the Super Bowl. It’s the Hollywood award shows, which I also enjoy. Heck, after Election Night it’s even Fox News. I’m going to unapologetically watch all of the above, and if you enjoy those things you should too, because we’ll never change the culture and the country by extracting ourselves from it bit-by-bit.
I’m angry that leftists have made everything political, but a not-small percentage of conservatives have done the same thing. Unfortunately, the manner in which conservatives make everything political is self-defeating. Conservatives engage in virtue signaling by only watching the majority-accepted cable news channel (one in which only one point of view is allowable), angrily eschewing professional football and basketball, proudly boycotting awards shows, tweeting about all of it – and then calling out other supposed conservatives who take part in those non-PC activities and, God forbid, enjoy them. We walk away from the cultural battleground and wave the white flag. By contrast, leftists have methodically taken over every cultural institution, as we well know. They didn’t do that by refusing to be part of the culture.
I’m not advocating for full or even grudging acceptance of what leftist athletes and entertainers stand for, and for what cultural institutions currently stand for. I believe that for cultural change to ever happen, middle-of-the-road Americans need to see that conservatives are not the weird, angry, religious zealots and conspiracy theorists the media tells them we are. For that perception to change, conservatives have to participate in popular culture. One of the tabloid magazines has a regular feature in which they share candid pictures of celebrities in their day-to-day lives titled, “Stars: They’re just like us!” Similarly, John Q. Public needs to see, “Conservatives: They’re just like us!”
If conservatives completely isolate themselves from popular culture and proudly tell everyone who will listen about their decision, middle-of-the-road Americans will just see us as the weird zealots they already think we are. We will have no common ground on which to start a conversation and eventually sway people to a conservative viewpoint. If we conservatives persist in this game plan of isolating ourselves, we might as well give up on ever changing the culture – and based on the defeatist attitude I constantly encounter in response to my articles about California or culture and on social media, I think many already have. If that’s true, why even bother caring about elections or politics?
I’m also not saying that individuals shouldn’t make their own determinations about who to support or not support with their wallet. There are a few professional athletes (Colin Kaepernick and LeBron James, for starters) I’ll never support in any way. That’s my individual decision, and if other conservatives still support those two, it really doesn’t bother me. It’s their choice.
Now, go watch and enjoy the Super Bowl if you want to, and ignore the scolds.