OK. Let me start by saying this Chicago Young Republicans’ parody of “Call Me Maybe” isn’t nearly as bad or embarrassing as I expected it to be. The singing and the production values are pretty high quality, which you’d expect from Republicans, because they have a lot of money. But parodying “Call Me Maybe” is already a stale Internet meme, which you’d also expect from Republicans, because conservatism is not a philosophy that celebrates creativity or imagination.
The lyrics are fairly clever. Here’s the CYR’s version of the refrain:
Hey, if you’re like me, and going crazy
The CYR, we’re calling baby
It’s hard to be right in Chicago
But we’re all here, for a better tomorrow.
However, the video is doomed to fail, because it tries to use pop culture to sell a product that’s inimical to pop culture. The Democrats are the party of faddish ideas. The Republicans are the party of classical virtues. When Republicans try to act cool, they alienate their own base, while failing to recruit any actual cool people. Look at how Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan got smacked down when he claimed Rage Against the Machine is his favorite band. Guitarist Tom Morello responded that “Paul Ryan is the embodiment of the machine our music rages against.”
As Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi found when he went undercover as a Bush volunteer in Florida, “most Republicans hate cool. Many of the parent volunteers I met were especially bitter because they think that cool is what liberals use to lure their children away. Which they might be right about, of course.”
You can’t blame the CYR for trying. As they sing, “It’s hard to be right in Chicago.” They’re deeper in enemy territory, and as contrary to their own demographic as any Republicans in America. But it will never be hip to be a young Republican in Chicago.