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Conservative Beliefs and Values in Contemporary Media

by Hiram R. Diaz III

To my surprise, many of the shows and films I’ve watched lately have had some pretty strong conservative undertones. With the majority of popular being liberal propaganda, it may be hard for you to believe that this is the case. So I decided to go over some of these productions in a little detail in order to flesh out what I mean. Just a heads up, though: There will be spoilers!

1. Lisey’s Story – I’m not a fan of horror, but some of Stephen King’s novels make for good television. That is the case with Lisey’s Story, a strange hybrid of horror and romance that vividly illustrates the beauty and necessity of binary gender complementarianism. The eponymous protagonist, Lisey (Julianne Moore), is the widow of a recently deceased famous novelist, Scott Landon (Clive Owens). After his death, she struggles to make sense of her identity, as well as her purpose without Scott. However, being in the possession of Scott’s unpublished manuscripts put her in a dangerous position when an obsessed fan nearly kills her in order to get his hands on the manuscripts. The obsessed fan is a man named Jim Dooley (Dane DeHaan), a man who has read every word written by Scott, and built a physical and virtual shrine to the deceased author. Jim is not merely obsessed with Scott, he is viciously opposed to Lisey, frequently identifying her as nothing more than a sexual companion to Scott who, unlike Jim, lacked the ability to truly connect with Scott. Jim is a man whose love for Scott is as clear as is his animosity toward Lisey and her sisters, going so far as attempting to kill all three women.

Jim’s violence is paralleled by the violence exerted by Scott’s brother and father, to whom we are introduced via a series of flashbacks that culminates in Lisey discovering that Scott’s male only household fell apart when his Scott’s father killed his oldest son and, later, urged Scott to kill him as well. I say the violence is paralleled because in both cases it appears to be inseparable from the fact that there are no women present. To put the matter a little differently, it is the presence of men only that seems to be inseparably linked to the violence we observe in each case. Whether it is the homoerotic misogyny of Jim, or the broken nuclear family unit, in each case, a woman’s gentle touch is missing. This may seem to paint men in a negative light, but that isn’t quite right.

The natural leading ability and strength of men is positively portrayed by characters like Scott, Dan Beckman (who employs his masculine strength in the service of keeping Lisey safe from Jim), and Dave Debusher, Lisey’s loving father who, like Scott would later, helped her imagination expand. What we see in this show, then, is an emphasis on the necessity of the complete family unit (e.g. Lisey’s family was whole and wholesome, whereas Scott’s family was broken and devoid of joy), the unethical and violent nature of homosexuality (or at the least homoeroticism), and the need men and women have for each other in general, but even more so within a romantic relationship. Scott finds healing through his relationship with his helpmeet, Lisey. Lisey finds completion, identity, and purpose in being Scott’s helpmeet. Even in his death, Scott helps Lisey understand how to get along in life without him.

Lisey’s Story sheds a much needed spotlight on the damage that is wrought by the breakup of the nuclear family unit, and by militant homosexuals.

2. Blood Red Sky (2021) – This film is another hybrid,
combining horror and action. The amount of romance in it is minimal, but it too highlights and valorizes heterosexual relationships, as well as the nuclear family unit. The real conservative emphasis in this film is on the need for White Europeans to be seen not as colonizers, imperialistic aggressors, etc, but as victims of their own past whose need for understanding and compassion parallels the need for the same in persons of color. A second lesser emphasis is on the danger and ineffectiveness of vaccination.

The movie is about a woman named Nadja (Peri Baumeister) who is traveling from Europe to NYC with her son Elias (Carl Anton Koch) in order to receive medical treatment for a “mysterious illness.” As the story progresses, we learn that the mysterious illness is not really an illness at all. Rather, Nadja years prior had been bitten by a vampire and, consequently, become a vampire herself. She, apparently, was trying to somehow get her vampire urges under control so that she could take better care of her son. Like Lisey, Nadja is a widow. In both stories, the man they loved was murdered by someone whose violence had a lasting and traumatic effect on them. Scott was murdered by a psychotic fan, leading Lisey to fall apart at the seams. Nadja’s husband in Blood Red Sky was murdered by a fellow European, a vampire, leading to her physical and psychological state being like that of her husband’s killer.

Unlike Lisey, however, Nadja has a son, one for whom she battles against her vampire tendencies. She is a vampire, but she does not want to be one. Rather, she wants to be able to raise her son, who is not a vampire, and so is seeking the assistance of others. The problem, however, is that while they are flying, the plane is held hostage by terrorists. These terrorists force two Middle Eastern men to read a note the hijackers wrote in Arabic, in order to make it appear as if the Middle Eastern men – and not the sociologically and ethnically diverse group of hijackers – were responsible for hijacking the plane.

When Nadja later is revealed to be a vampire, the majority of the people on the plane want nothing to do with her. In contrast to these intolerant people, however, one of the Middle Eastern men mentioned, Farid (Kais Setti), does not judge Nadja as “a monster.” Rather, he sees that she is trying to save her child’s life and, consequently, tries to help her accomplish this goal. Nadja and Farid mirror one another, as they both deviate from centuries old characterizations of their ancestors as people of violence and conquest.

Nadja’s vampirism eventually infects nearly everyone on the plane, but this is only because “Eightball” (Alexander Scheer), a flamboyant (and very pluasibly homosexual)1 and narcissistic terrorist, purposefully injects himself with Nadja’s polluted vampire blood. Had Eightball not done this, Nadja could have helped save everyone on board. What is key to note here is that inoculation against vampires only made the situation on this plane worse. Rather than provide Eightball with immunity, it made him a carrier of the disease. In his desire to overcome the European illness/disease of vampirism (read: White Supremacy),2 and in his desire to inoculate himself against a particularly nasty blood borne disease, Eightball managed to destroy the lives not only of people of European descent, but also of many different racial-ethnic and social backgrounds, and likewise destroyed himself by means of an injection that was intended to inoculate him against being destroyed by the vampire illness but, in reality, only served to turn him into a “superspreader” of the illness.

The only individuals who survive the plane hijacking in tact are Farid and Elias. These male characters survive by reciprocally showing one another respect, empathizing with one another’s situations as human individuals, not as representatives of a particular group identity.

3. Dr. Death – Unlike the other media mentioned above, Dr. Death is based on a true story. The mini-series follows the investigation and eventual conviction of Dr. James Duntsch (Joshua Jackson), a man whose infamously bad surgeries – resulting in his patients dying, being maimed, and becoming quadriplegics – earned him the moniker “Dr. Death.” Duntsch’s egregious surgeries caught the attention of two other surgeons, Dr. Robert Henderson (Alec Baldwin) and Dr. Randall Kirby (Christian Slater), who seek to have charges brought against Duntsch, have his medical privileges universally and permanently removed, and have him lawfully convicted and imprisoned for his destructive surgeries. The show is fascinating because it at one and the same time praises and severely criticizes the American medical system. Greed is shown to be one of the reasons why Dr. Death was able to get away with his crimes, as the institutions that should have dealt with Duntsch were more concerned with their image, i.e. their ability to market themselves as prestigious and, therefore, their ability to make millions of dollars, seeking profit over the well being of their patients.

Dr. Death reminds us that the medical industry is of great benefit to all people, but only if it holds to a superior and universal moral code (as embodied in the Hippocratic Oath) that embraces, among other Christian values, humility. Duntsch’s inability to uphold the Hippocratic Oath – specifically his inability to acknowledge his failures as a surgeon, and his refusal to stop performing surgeries, despite his long history of disastrous surgical outcomes – is explicitly mentioned in court by Dr. Henderson, leading the viewer to infer that Duntsch’s immoral conduct made him deserving of a life sentence in prison.

Given that we are increasingly being told to abandon our bodies and minds to “the experts” (men like the infamous Dr. Fauci), this series is, I think, culturally significant. It embodies and endorses an anti-establishmentarian, conservative mindset that values rational human freedom over against blind submission to “the experts.” Science is not treated as a replacement for religion, but is presented as a handmaiden, as it were, to religion. For instance, Don Duntsch (Fredric Lehne) is not led by a godless and materialistic worldview, as his son is, but by his Christian moral values. Additionally, science is not presented as the apex of human thinking, the queen of all academics to which all other branches of learning are to be subjected. Rather, the good scientists/doctors (Baldwin and Slater) step out of the way when their case against Dr. Death is finally brought to trial. Rather than seeking to dominate the court, they acknowledge their lack of expertise in the matter of jurisprudence, choosing instead to trust the legal expert, viz. the District Attorney.

It is fascinating to see otherwise overtly liberal media companies like Netflix promote such anti-woke, anti-lgbtqia+, anti-scientism, pro-Christian, pro-nuclear family, pro-capitalist material is surprising to see, in all honesty, but is very welcome. Perhaps their leading executives have begun to see that their promotion of liberal values has not only led to monetary losses, but has also led to the general erosion of the USA’s remaining threads of its once Christian moral fabric.


1 Admittedly, this would be a stereotypical portrayal of gay men as flamboyant, aggressive, and a danger to children (e.g. Eightball attempts to kill Elias, and takes a young girl hostage), but a stereotype whose plausibility is strengthened by the name “Eightball.”

This is due to the similarity between the number 8 and the popular symbol used to represent male homosexuals, namely ⚣. It could also be an allusion to cocaine, which is widely used by homosexual men (See

2 See “A Matter of Black and White: Race in the Twilight Saga,”