The Young Cons

When I first saw this video--and I wish I could remember where that was because I'd love to give someone a hat tip for it--I watched it a couple of times, trying to be sure that it was for real and not an elaborate parody. Give it a look.



"The Young Cons", I thought, could be doing double duty--short for both conservative and confidence men--and I thought that would be clever. The other reason I leaned toward parody is because of the cognitive dissonance in so many of the lyrics. For instance:

I hate when,
government dictatin, makin, statements, bout how to be a merchant,
How to run a restaurant, how to lay the pavement
Bailout a business, but can't protect an infant
I'm going to set aside the aesthetic choice to try to rhyme merchant with restaurant as they do in the video and simply note that they don't seem to understand that one of the results of government regulation of businesses and restaurants (among others) is that not only infants, but the population as a whole, are protected from things like unsanitary kitchens or substandard construction. People who subscribe to this philosophy are more rightly called "pro-birth" than "pro-life," because it's pretty clear they're not worried about government protection once the kid is out of the mother's womb (and they're not much worried about the mother at all).

I suspect, though, that most people who aren't plugged into the blog world either left or right won't understand half of what's going on in this song. That's because the Young Cons are speaking in shorthand most of the time. Here are some other select lyrics:
Terrorists were imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay,
Now they're in our neighborhoods, planning out doomsday...

I don't speak lies but I spit the facts
28% the new capital gains tax
Porkulus bill lacks a few stats...

AIG was hooked up by Chris Dodd
A classy gift ain't an Ipod
The standards of my crew ain’t republicans dude
I'm reppin Jesus Christ and conservative views
Study history and true conservative moves...
I wonder how many people outside of blog readers would know what Porkulus is referring to? Or the iPod line? Or get that the Young Cons are arguing that conservatism hasn't failed, but that Republicans have failed conservatism? The first line is the one that's gotten the most mainstream play because of the ads the Republicans have been running and the news coverage of the Senate not giving President Obama the money to shut down Guantanamo Bay, but that's not completely clear from the line--I had to add a lot of outside information to get that meaning. For lots of people, those lines might as well be gibberish.

But it's this line that probably sums it up best:
Three things taught me conservative love:
Jesus, Ronald Reagan, plus Atlas Shrugged
In the comments on their website, they try to make Jesus and Ayn Rand fit together by saying that Jesus was asking for personal commitments as opposed to government intervention, but that's about all they have. Nothing on Rand's glorification of selfishness or ego, and Reagan just gets left out of the discussion completely--not surprising since he lacked both Rand's commitment to smaller (or no) government and Jesus's love of the poor and downtrodden. But he's a conservative icon and so must be included in any conservative statement. I'll pass on that conservative love.

So at this point I'm fairly sure it's not a parody unless it's an Andy Kaufman, so deep in the act that no one is for sure style parody, and if it is, then it's got a lot of people suckered in. More likely it's a true rendering of the attitudes of a very limited number of people, a sliver of today's Republican party.

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