Several years back, Bill Whittle produced what I consider to be one of his all-time classic video commentaries, on the difference between Alpha and Beta males. In that video, "Beta Nation", he outlined precisely why it is that, no matter where you look, no matter which entertainment medium you care to consume, Alpha-male qualities are always and everywhere instantly more attractive and more interesting to audiences than Beta-male ones.
As usual, Bill Whittle nailed it. The reason why Alpha-male qualities are such a hit, both in fiction and in real life, is because the Alpha qualities of confidence, strength, discipline, control (and controlled aggression), and ambition are qualities that we all admire and seek to emulate.
Mr. Whittle uses the example of the classic 1970s TV show All in the Family, which I have never actually watched at all. But the stereotypical conservative in that show, Archie Bunker, is the character that viewers across three generations have identified and sympathised with- while "Meathead" Mike Stivic (played by uber-liberal Rob Reiner- life does indeed imitate art) is the character that very few people actually like.
The modern-day version of All in the Family is a truly terrific family show called Last Man Standing, starring Tim Allen as the "modern, educated Archie Bunker", Mike Baxter.
I have sung the praises of this show many times on this blog. If you sit down and actually watch some of its best episodes- the first four seasons are streaming on Netflix right now, and the fifth will be up in a few months- you will understand precisely why.
The funny thing is that my sister- very much a liberal- doesn't see the point of the show. She finds Mike Baxter's conservatism to be almost cartoonishly silly, and thinks that most of the time the show is dedicated to making fun of the conservative philosophy and worldview. And actually, she sort of has a point; several episodes in the show revolve around the ways that Mike Baxter deals with conflicts between his paternal, conservative attitude to life, and the monkey-wrenches that life throws into his philosophy.
One good example would be the episode about midway through the first season where the city council mandates that all softball teams must be co-ed. Mike Baxter, being a manly man of righteous manliness, is rightly outraged at the notion of being forced to play alongside women in a man's sport. Yet, his youngest daughter, Eve- played superbly as a strong-willed, independent-thinking young conservative by Kaitlyn Dever- has an absolute cannon of a pitch, and when his male coworkers are all tied up in voting for or against the idea of having to share the field with women, Mike secretly casts his ballot in favour of the notion.
His reason? He doesn't like it when people tell his daughter what she can and cannot do.
And yet, for all that my sister has a narrowly defined point, she misses the much broader reality of the show. Because of this, she also completely misunderstands its appeal- and it is a well-regarded show, judging by the ratings if nothing else.
Unlike All in the Family, where liberal Norman Lear used Archie Bunker as, essentially, a foil for Meathead's airheaded nonsense, Last Man Standing espouses clear, family-values, bedrock-conservative messages. Mike Baxter's arguments with his liberal eldest daughter Kristin, and her atheist, Vegan, socialist Canadian boyfriend and then fiance Ryan, are great to watch because he almost always ends up winning them.
As for Ryan Vogelson, Mike Baxter's frequent punching bag, many is the time when I have watched him on-screen and raised my eyes to the heavens and said, out loud, "Lord, I know You have that whole Sixth Commandment prohibition on murder and all, but would You please consider giving me a mulligan, at least as far as this DIPSHIT is concerned?!"
Why is that? Why is it that I- a former atheist and squishy right-leaning centrist- regard a character written by extremely liberal screenwriters as the leftist's leftist, to be so annoying as to be worthy of being "accidentally" shot in the foot with a crossbow?
The answer is pretty simple. It doesn't matter where you encounter the progressive mindset, or in what fashion- the sheer limp-wristed weakness, the mincing effiminacy, the "swishing faggotry" of it, as Ann Barnhardt would say, is distasteful in the extreme, even to liberals themselves.
The Beta ideology that is progressivism is not built on logic, reason, or facts. It is built on feelings. Progressivism in all of its forms casts aside tradition in favour of novelty; discards what works for what does not; refuses to distinguish wrong from right; and, worst of all, insists against millennia of evidence to the contrary that the flawed and fallen nature of Man can be "corrected".
The Alpha philosophy of (traditional) conservatism, by contrast, is built on a simple recognition of facts.
Those of us who reject the lies of progressivism do not agree with each other on everything. Why should we, after all? We are individualists first and foremost, and highly territorial ones at that. But we do agree on a few basic things.
First, we agree that Man is what he is. There is no point in trying to fix him. All we can do- the most we can do- is attempt to work with and around the flaws of Man, by giving our fellows incentives to appeal to their better angels, and doing whatever we can to restrain their worst vices.
Second, we value individualism, personal responsibility, and integrity. Those who have these qualities are immediately worthy of respect. Those who seek to leech off others, who eschew notions of honour and loyalty, are immediately branded, justly, as cowards and fools.
Third, we respect strength, courage, loyalty, and honour. We know that these are the fundamental building blocks of a strong and healthy society; we instinctively understand that men who possess these qualities are worthy of our time and attention, and that men who embody these virtues are the kinds of leaders that we want.
Progressives loathe all of these things. They reject these notions as outdated and reactionary. Yet, when things go pear-shaped, guess who they instinctively look to in order to make things right?
Yep- they look to a strong, masculine, heroic, Alpha-male type to set things straight.
The liberal ideology is a Beta way of life. It celebrates weakness and applauds cowardice. But the traditional conservative philosophy is an Alpha mindset. It understands the dangers of an unchained and unchecked Man, and seeks to prevent those excesses using the only methods that actually work- the same ones that have always worked.
And that is why, no matter where and when and how you look, you will always find that it is the conservative characters in our culture- whether in real life or fiction- that live on in our memories, while the liberal ones fade into obscurity.