As regular readers know, the Power Line Prize competition has been going on for the last couple of months. The deadline to submit entries was midnight on Friday, and Joe Malchow, Mike Scholl of the Freedom Club and I spent last weekend winnowing the several hundred entries down to 43 semifinalists. We put those onto USB drives and overnighted them to our distinguished panel of judges–Hugh Hewitt, Glenn Reynolds, Marcheta Marshall, MaryKatharine Ham, Roger Simon, Alexandra Johnson, Andrew Breitbart, John Ondrasik and me. The judges are now rating the semifinalists, and over the weekend, if all goes well, we will select the four prize winners.
I spent my evening reviewing the 43 semifinalists along with my wife and youngest daughter, and, even though I had seen them all several times before, it was a revelation to view them all together, one after another. Taken as a whole, they are remarkably effective as conservative voices on the debt crisis.
We conservatives have too often ceded the popular culture space to liberals. There may be some historical explanation for this phenomenon, but these days, when liberals are scheming to rob our children of their cultural and economic heritage, it is inexcusable for us conservatives to ignore the emotional wellsprings of political action. To my knowledge, conservatives have never before assembled an arsenal of cultural weapons–videos, songs, paintings, power points, essays–comparable to what the PL Prize has produced. Over the coming weeks, we will not only award cash prizes to four of the hundreds of contest entries, but we will do our best to cause videos, songs and paintings to go viral so that millions of Americans will be influenced by the outpouring of creativity that has been occasioned by the Power Line Prize competition. We can assemble an album of songs to be downloaded for free on iTunes, and we will set up a YouTube channel for videos and other entries suitable for viewing in that medium. We will be disappointed if tens of millions of Americans don’t see or hear one or more of the contest entries, and we think that our contest can be a template for other efforts to enlist the creativity of various kinds of artists on behalf of the conservative cause.
So we look forward to the day, coming very soon, when we can begin unveiling the best of the entries in the Power Line Prize competition.