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CM Punk vs. the WWE and How It Relates to the Conservative Grassroots (A Think Piece)

I was originally going to call this “Losing Your Smile” after the infamous Shawn Michaels promo, but then a) I got over myself, and b) the CM Punk news hit the internets.

First, some parameters:

1. Yes, I know that professional wrestling is scripted. You’re not being witty by pointing that out to me.

2. I realize a self-professed “atheist jerk” probably won’t appreciate being included in a blog post about conservative politics.

3. There is a very good chance that this is just one giant wrestling angle.

All that being said, according to mainstream news outlets, CM Punk has walked out over frustration over…pick something. It could be over backstage politics. It could be over the lack of any creative direction in the WWE. It could be that the WWE Establishment is completely clueless. It could be burn out from the road, injuries, and everything I just mentioned all together. Either way he’s gone for the time being, or “gone for the time being.” What I find amusing is that these are also all things a lot of us on the right can relate to.

The main reason I connected with him after the pipe bomb incident is that he had a lot of the same frustrations with the WWE that I and many of you have with the GOP. The two organizations are very similar. Neither entity seems to listen to their audience. New talent is constantly passed over for older talent who has proven they can’t get over. People who still believe in the product constantly find themselves asking each other why they still do. And the powers that be in charge don’t care as long as their money keeps coming in.

Randy Orton vs. Dave Batista main eventing WrestleMania 30 is even the WWE version of Romney-McCain 2016.

A lot of us had gotten involved because we wanted to change the system. I know I did. I wanted to be, for lack of a better phrase, a “CM Punk of the movement.” I even wore my “CM Punk dressed as Jesus” shirt when FTR Radio broadcast at a FreedomWorks event in Chicago, just because obviously.

But after the 2012 elections and a year of feeling like we were cannibalizing each other, I can relate to the CM Punk burn out. You find yourself asking “what now?” What’s the point?

I started off 2014 realizing I don’t care about “declaring war on the establishment” regardless of whether it’s the GOP or tea party establishment, don’t care about trolling members of the media and others who disagree with me online, don’t care about kissing the asses of the same ten internet famous people, and don’t care about getting into fights with people who forget the nine times I’ve agreed with them because of the one-time I don’t. That’s what 90% of the grassroots I feel has become. When 110% of what you couldn’t possibly care less about seems to be what 90% of your audience does cares about, what’s left for you?

(Of course if the WWE listened to 90% of their audience, Daniel Bryan would have won the Royal Rumble and have the torched passed to him by John Cena at WrestleMania, but I digress.)

So…what now? Like I mentioned before, while I’m sure there’s a lot of IRL frustration, there is a good chance CM Punk vs. the WWE is one big wrestling angle. As for me? Or you, if you’ve been wrestling with the same frustration? Find something you think you can change. Focus locally, finding candidates or leaders who you think can be the CM Punk’s, Daniel Bryan’s or Dean Ambrose’s of the party.

I still believe in the movement and still believe our message is what’s right for the country. I just think we need to change some of the leaders, some of the messengers, and change the way we present our beliefs and values to the voters.

I certainly can’t change it sitting on my couch on Long Island.

7 thoughts on “CM Punk vs. the WWE and How It Relates to the Conservative Grassroots (A Think Piece)”

  1. Forgive my ignorance, since I’m not a conservative, but I love wrestling as much as I (and John) loves politics – but I don’t see how in this analogy, the WWE equals the Republican party. Because it certainly doesn’t equal the electorate as a whole.

    But lets use the WWE as GOP analogy that I believe – John was striving for.

    John is equating McCain and Romney with Batista and Randy Orton – generally because all four are old and boring and nobody in their right minds who either values entertainment or (more importantly in WWE terms – money & in GOP terms – winning) believes either of them can entertain the audience and accomplish the mission.

    He (and other conservatives) want fresh voices and faces and people who go against the traditional grain. In WWE terms this is CM Punk or Daniel Bryan or Dolph Ziggler – guys who go against the stereotype of big bodybuilder-types that Vince McMahon has seemingly had a fetish for since the 80s.

    What John didn’t flesh out in this piece (and maybe he has in others, I really haven’t searched his blog that thoroughly) is what the GOP equivalent of a CM Punk or Daniel Bryan looks like.

    Is it ideological? Is it style? Is it age? Is it merely a fresh coat of paint on an otherwise dusty and moldy platform that has done nothing but lose five of the last six popular votes for president?

    In my mind there is no CM Punk or Daniel Bryan in the GOP. I say that as a liberal, so – of course – I’m biased. But I am a student of politics and I can recognize talent when I see it (much like I can in wrestling which is why I’ve loved CM Punk and Bryan as much John does) and I don’t see any top-tier talent in the GOP on any level.

    Besides the talent issue, there’s the issue of how you fundamentally change a party that is – at it’s very core – supposed to NOT CHANGE. It’s a conservative party. Some would argue its the most conservative political party that holds any actual power in the entire world.

    So the change isn’t going to come through ideology.

    And if it doesn’t come through ideology – then it’s not really change. Which, in a way, is the perfect for a WWE analogy – since the WWE is never going to fundamentally change either. It will always be dominated by large guys over 6’4″ and 250lbs – no matter how many Bret Hart’s, Shawn Michaels, CM Punks or Daniel Bryans catch fire for a few months. They are, as Punk said, merely cogs in the wheel, and the wheel is going to keep spinning.

    Much like the GOP will be dominated by white males over 50 pushing an agenda that hasn’t updated itself since before cell phones were invented.

    1. I’m working on an analogy that compares pro wrestling to conservatism, sports entertainment to liberalism, and introducing pro wrestling values to a whole new electorate…but it’s not there yet. :-)

  2. I’m no one from no where. I feel this to my bones. Since you’ve been actually fighting while we just live our lives, I can’t imagine how burned out you must feel. Prayers for you. Prayers for us all. It feels like everyone is too entrenched. Too complacent. Too important, too cool, too knee-jerk stupid, or too uninterested, etc. and it irritates the tar out of me. So I just keep informed, and do my family. And hope for an Awakening. God bless. Thanks for all you and others like you do.

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