Creator Matthew Weiner isnt going to talk about it. Democrats havent quite noticed it. But there seems to be an undeniable connection between AMCs marquee television program Mad Men and the fiscally conservative and libertarian factions of the Grand Old Party.
Recently, there have been a couple of events the Competitive Enterprise Institutes annual gala in June and last weeks DC Republican Committee 35 most influential Republicans under 35 reception that have used the hit show about the world of 1960s New York City advertising as the theme.
The CEI event even created a parody of the television show called Maddening Ad Men Visit CEI.
Well, basically what were offering is an opportunity for a mea culpa, two schlubby advertising guys tell the boardroom. An Im sorry, if you will. Look, folks, our research shows this free-market stuff, it just doesnt go over well these days. I mean, its not popular with the young generation.
The camera cuts to two young guys with skinny ties.
Its not popular with women, the maddening ad men continue. Who even knows what women want anyway? Am I right?
The camera cuts to a woman rolling her eyes. The maddening ad men go on to suggest that perhaps the guys at CEI, a libertarian think tank, have just gotten carried away with this liberty stuff.
Stop fighting subsidized milk, they say. Just apologize!
Of course, the suggestion is that back in Don Drapers day, no businessman would ever bow to government subsidies or apologize for using the system to make money.
CEI Founder Fred Smith said during the gala that the 21st-century business community is far too apologetic, and he suggested that attitude is something to be ashamed of.
After the 2008 economic downturn, the wars in the Middle East, rampant un- and under-employment and the rise of the Occupy movement, the free marketers seem to be longing for the time when business was king.
I think there is this element of nostalgia, said Marin Cogan, GQs Washington correspondent who wrote about and attended the CEI event.
Mad Men is a show where men sell products and goods. They dont apologize for their capitalism, she said. [Todays generation of business leaders] came out of this sort of heady time of the 1990s through the aughts, then there were a couple of major market crashes.
Since President Barack Obama took office, however, there has been the re-emergence of faith at least by Washington Democrats in Keynesian economics and another segment of society that questions the premises of capitalism.
The creative director of MassiveMusic New York,
Elijah Torn, agreed.