Here’s an unpopular opinion: mockery helps. It really does. The rise of the Ku Klux Klan in popularity is largely attributed to their heroic portrayal in the film Birth of a Nation. And their subsequent decline is largely attributed to their villainous portrayal in the 1940s Superman radio serial “Clan of the Fiery Cross.” Media, as any propaganda machine will tell you, is a powerful tool for influencing the populace.
I hear a lot about how the trick for liberals to win back control in the next two elections (side note to Texans: THERE IS AN ELECTION IN 2018) is to reach across the latrine and connect with the average Donald Trump supporter. Y’all…I can’t do that. I don’t know what to say to people who looked at Trump and said, “That’s my guy.” They’re largely indifferent to the truth, and since truth is my business, I’m sort of at a loss over what I’m supposed to say. “Eff SJWs! Kamala Harris 2020?” The editor is going to send that back and ask if I’m adding verses to “Jabberwocky.”
I have another theory. I believe that what is most important is empowerment and shame. For empowerment, there are a lot of folks out there fighting the good fight, but the good fight is exhausting. The rise in massive trolling as a political tactic makes a lot of us wonder if getting out of bed is worth it. One of the things that help is laughter. It lightens the load on the heart, and that gets groups like Indivisible a little further down the road.
As for shame, well, remember the KKK example above? I don’t care if people doing awful things ever really understand why those things were awful, just that they eventually understand the rest of us think they’re doing wrong. Wisdom is better, but I will settle for the humiliation that keeps people from pulling the lever for misogynists, racists and various group-phobes.
To that end, here are some YouTube channels you’re definitely going to want to put on your "subscribe" list. Politics can be hilarious.
5. Randy Rainbow
This is my personal favorite at the moment. Randy Rainbow’s shtick is pretending to be a newscaster interviewing various figures like the recently departed Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci or Kellyanne Conway through the use of carefully edited clips to make them seem legit. He then ends with a song. It might not be your thing if you aren’t a big fan of musicals, but Rainbow is a supremely talented parody lyricist with top-notch production values. He’s good for the slightly profane earworm, as well as expressing utter bafflement about the current political climate.
4. Trae Crowder, Liberal Redneck
On the other end of the production-value scale, but still way up there in terms of hilarity, is Trae Crowder. He posts a lot less than he used to, but his redneck accent is a bit of fresh air for those Texas liberals who frequently feel like we’re all alone. Crowder has a ranting beauty not seen since The Dennis Miller Show, and frequently distills the absurdity of modern politics. He mixes in a little Lewis Black with constantly seeming to be on the edge of a meltdown, and the result is magic.
3. America’s Best Christian, Betty Bowers
Bowers seems to have gone slightly off the radar since the election, but her back catalog is second to none. Her satirical look at America’s preferred brand of conservative Christianity can be a cool rag on the fevered brow of those of us wishing religion and hate would see other people. Hell, I love Jesus to death/resurrection, but every time someone tells me He wants me to kick some transperson out of a bathroom or annoy some woman getting an abortion, I lose a lot of faith. Here’s hoping she gets back to work soon.
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2. Bad Lip Reading
Bad Lip Reading is just that; it’s humorous, nonsensical interpretations of videos as misunderstood by a bad lip reader. They do a lot of pop culture, but they also do a whole heck of a lot of politics. If you’re conservative and you’ve read this far – and thank you if you did; I know I’m very annoying – you should check this out too; its mockery is generally nonpartisan. Sometimes it feels like the world has gone mad, and BLR takes that to the next level.
1. H. Bomberguy
One of the things I run into a lot is the disconnect between liberals of the late ‘90s and liberals connected to the web culture that really gave birth to the political world we’re really seeing now. Every time I have to explain what an MRA is, I die a little inside because I know I’ve just ruined a friend’s day. H. Bomberguy is the cure for that depression. He does a lot of video-game stuff, too, and it’s really good, but the bulk of his work examines the hypocrisy of the fragile male culture that launched Trump into the presidency, as well as its hilariously misinformed view of diversity and liberalism. Understanding this culture, and just how effective it is in influencing the world through social media, is key to fighting back. Believe it or not, pathetic manbabies with a lot of time on their hands to scream on Twitter have way more impact on the world than you think, and no one slays them like H. Bomberguy.