Anyone concerned last fall’s elections were an indication that conservatism is dead in America, need not worry too much. I never believed conservatism was defeated in November due to the fact that so many Democrats had to run as conservatives to win, but there are additional, less obvious indicators that support my belief that America is still in many ways a conservative nation. Two of those indicators could be found on your television set this week.
On Sunday and Monday nights the four hour season premiere of Fox’s hit drama 24 aired to an audience estimated around 33 million. Then on Tuesday and Wednesday nights the season premiere of the mega hit American Idol aired to its biggest season premiere audience ever, around 38 million.
The Fox hit drama 24, featuring the superhero terrorist-fighter, Jack Bauer, is not a consistently reliable champion of conservative policies, but it sure does provide Americans with some politically incorrect terrorist-thumping entertainment. In spite of a “war for oil” story line one season that almost drove me away from the show, and some similar occasional bows to the PC police, 24 remains one place conservatives can find scenarios no one else will depict.
Because there are not many other shows on network television brave enough to show terrorists as anything other than white supremacist types or to feature a hero who routinely inflicts torture on suspected terrorists when innocent lives are at risk, it remains very popular with many conservatives. Even the four hour season premiere of 24, which has been harshly criticized by some for being overly sympathetic to ACLU positions by depicting an administration violating the civil liberties of Americans, had plenty for most conservatives to love.
In the season premiere this week, a plot depicting a frustrated and paranoid American taking out his frustrations on an innocent Muslim victim, turned on a dime when the innocent victim was revealed to be a teenage terrorist ready to shoot dead the friend who had defended him. The premiere also showed the fictional counter terrorism unit gaining valuable information (about the number of nuclear bombs set to be detonated on U.S. soil) from detainees at a Gitmo-style holding facility for those suspected of terrorist ties.