The Republicans of Star Wars: Expanding the base with new voters inspired to action by fantasy meeting reality

It was good to see that two Republican politicians that are notable in Ohio politics took a moment on May 4th 2018 to honor the now official Star Wars holiday which takes place every year on that date. Jim Renacci who is running for the Senate seat in Ohio to challenge Sharrod Brown put out the press release displayed below, and Sheriff Jones put out a Tweet that was well received by Star Wars fans. It would be easy for either politician to ignore the Star Wars holiday as both men are over 60 and could plead ignorance to the cultural changes that are taking place artistically by the Disney franchise but they wisely embraced the holiday which was very smart–politically.

Good afternoon,

Today is Friday, May 4th a normal day for many, but die-hard fans of the Rebel Alliance will tell you: it’s Star Wars Day.

The first Star Wars movie to hit theaters (eventually subtitled Episode IV: A New Hope) was released in 1977, 41 years ago. Though this blockbuster franchise has existed for over four decades, career politician Sherrod Brown has worked in politics even longer, first being sworn into office in 1975.

“While Brown has lived in a political bubble for the last 44 years—never bothering to develop real-world experience—Jim Renacci has worked as an entrepreneur for the last three decades, creating more than 1,500 jobs and employing over 3,000 Ohioans.”

— Brittany Martinez, Renacci for Senate Communications Director

I’ve been writing a lot about Star Wars lately for a lot of reasons. Not only am I excited for the new Han Solo movie that is about to come out, but I can’t help but notice a number of things that are happening where politics and entertainment are coalescing together in new and unusual ways. I personally think that the new film Solo: A Star Wars Story will be one of those special movies similar to what happened when Raiders of the Lost Ark came out in 1981 and was one of those movies that everyone went to see and was a kind of unifying factor in our society culturally. Most movies that come out don’t have the potential to touch just about everyone who watches them the way that I think this Solo Star Wars film will. When Raiders came out it was a year and a half into the Reagan White House and looking back at how politics and entertainment came together to create a positive decade for America, I can’t help but notice the similarities happening now in 2018. Only I think the potential now is much greater than it was back then. So that prospect has given me great excitement. We are facing a new decade that will not only see mankind visit Mars, but there will be economic expansion that will touch literally every country in the world and their point of entry into those new opportunities will come ironically from Star Wars. People in China and India don’t watch Fox News but they will see Star Wars and be touched by it likely in some way and that will shape their politics in ways that aren’t explored under normal circumstances. But these are not normal days of political development.

I recently wrote of the nature of the Star Wars stories as being best when they are anti-authoritarian, because that was the original vision George Lucas brought to the film series. When Star Wars works best, they are anti-authoritarian art. When Star Wars fails, they are saturated with progressive politics reflective of the creative people who work in the film business. The new people running Lucasfilm and Disney these days are starting to understand that relationship through trial and error, and I think we will see those results in the new Solo: A Star Wars Story movie. Star Wars is not a form of liberal art, it’s a conservative endeavor by its very nature. Even though George Lucas meant it as a reflective form of art from the counter-culture, it was his love of old westerns and 1950s science fiction that set Star Wars apart from everything else that was being produced by Hollywood.

It is hard for liberals to look at themselves and admit that it is the Democratic Party that is all about tyranny and attempting to control people’s lives. They sold the Democratic Party to themselves as the part of civil rights and empowerment, but it was always the Republicans who truly stood for all the things that gave power to individuals and philosophically relied on smaller government to advance a country’s needs. That is why Republicans tend to love Star Wars. Even though the creative people behind Star Wars self-identify as Democrats they philosophically have been making Republican movies because the stories have always been rooted in the traditions of mid-20th Century America. The rejection by fans of elements of Star Wars since the Disney acquisition have been those Democratic elements that just don’t fit with the traditions of the old Saturday morning matinees that inspired George Lucas. Just as Disney would never have been such a massive company if it started out as a liberal enterprise, the origins of both film franchises was rooted in traditional America which Republicans represent.

This is important because if you look at the pod cast shown below where a big show was recorded in a Denny’s to celebrate the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story which the restaurant chain is promoting, there is a represented fan base there which I would bet are all potential Republicans, yet they don’t currently vote. If you listen to them speak, they sound like Republicans, they are certainly not collectivists, but the political party structure as it currently is does not inspire them to participate. Getting to know elements about the Star Wars movies are much more interesting to them. And I can say that there are many millions of these people out there, they are politically disconnected from the real world, but the politics of Star Wars as a functional mythology philosophically grounded in the traditions of America and being shown all over the world culturally are aligned with them. It would not take much to convince these people to vote Republican, because in so many ways they are already there.

Until Donald Trump came along Republicans allowed themselves to have their messaging controlled by the Democrats who tend to be better at marketing themselves even if they steal all the good stuff from Republicans—like civil rights, women’s rights, and small government ideas. What I see happening is now with a year and a half of Donald Trump and Star Wars really dominating the entertainment landscape, those two things are coming together in a way that should expand party affiliations in favor of the Republicans. Smart Republicans like Jim Renacci and Sheriff Jones already understand that the way to expand their party base is to reach out to Star Wars fans and get them out voting for Republicans in elections.

Even through Bob Iger at Disney is a Democrat, and Ron Howard who directed Solo: A Star Wars Story is not a Donald Trump lover, they have both done a really good job for their responsibilities in the movie business. If they behaved like liberals in their jobs, they obviously would not have done such a good job so it doesn’t take much to win them over too. The new Republican Party under the Donald Trump White House is actually something that social liberals but business conservatives could sign up to be a part of and that would truly be a unifying factor nationally. I think that’s where everything is headed in 2018 so it would be wise to make strategic alignments that would allow for some really special things to happen at this year’s midterms. There are a lot of new voters out there, and in many cases people who have never even thought about voting who could be recruited once they had the doors opened to them by a party who understands them. Republicans are the party for Star Wars fans and any candidate who wants to expand their base should do so with that understanding. While Star Wars is for kids, it has an epistemology that is rooted in American tradition for which the Republican Party best articulates, and that means that special things can happen politically if everything were aligned properly. So it made me very proud to see that Sheriff Jones and Jim Renacci are some of the first party heads to understand that real potential that exists just beyond our fingertips. We are truly in a new age and those who survive best use all the tools in the tool box, not just the ones that used to be cool—but the ones that are cool now.

Rich Hoffman

Sign up for Second Call Defense here: http://www.secondcalldefense.org/?affiliate=20707 Use my name to get added benefits.