When I heard this week about a new pro-Republican, anti-tax video on YouTube, I was expecting something along the lines of the cringe-worthy “ Young Conservative Rappers” featured everywhere from Mike Huckabee’s show on Fox to Bill Maher.
But the new video I was sent is different. It’s a parody of the Lady Gaga song “Just Dance” with the lyrics changed to “Just Tax,” along with an easy, simple, explanation of what the Democrats plan: to “tax us out of the debt.” (The chorus even features the president’s infamous “spread the wealth around” quote.)
Unlike the young conservative rappers, this video is self-aware—it is campy satire, and isn’t attempting to be taken as seriously as the Brooks Brothers-wearing rappers. The video was recently picked up by blogger Perez Hilton, who joked that the Republicans should “Leave our GaGa out of your Grand Ol’ Party!!!” But the fact that he put the video on his site is relevant in itself—the conservative rappers were nowhere to be found there.
Unlike the young conservative rappers, this video is self-aware—it is campy satire, and isn’t attempting to be taken as seriously as the Brooks Brothers-wearing rappers.
Whether people want to admit it or not, the line between politics and pop culture has become increasingly blurry. We have our first “rock star” president, known for dancing with Ellen and having Jay-Z on his iPod. YouTube videos, SNL parodies, and Colbert Report and Jon Stewart sketches are now as much a part of the zeitgeist of young people and politics as actual journalism.
I admit that I love the “Just Tax” YouTube video for many reasons. It’s cute, catchy, and the simplest way possible to explain why I am a Republican when it comes to taxes.
Anyone within the Republican Party who belittles the power of videos such as these is fighting a losing battle. It is just as important for us to battle with ideas as it is pop culture. And instead of letting the writers at SNL and The Daily Show have all the fun—more often than not making fun of Republicans—we should be fighting back with the power of our own viral videos.
Meghan McCain is a columnist for The Daily Beast. Originally from Phoenix, she graduated from Columbia University in 2007. She is a New York Times bestselling children's author, previously wrote for Newsweek magazine, and created the website mccainblogette.com.