Steven Crowder, host of the YouTube show Louder with Crowder, brought his videos to life on Texas A&M’s campus last night as he took the stage in Rudder Theatre.
In his Halloween live show, Crowder shared his views on the current culture and politics of the U.S. Crowder’s own YouTube channel has 4.19 million subscribers and he is a frequent contributor to BlazeTV as well. Crowder is also a former contributor to Fox News and has his own podcast, which has featured guests such as Rand Paul and Dan Crenshaw. Crowder’s live show on campus was hosted by by the A&M chapter of the Young Americans for Freedom, a conservative youth group present on college campuses all across the country.
Crowder opened with jokes about the packed audience’s costumes and a skit with an impression of Donald Trump. Despite the jokes, he said he recognized the importance of culture in politics. Crowder said the culture of Generation Z will have the most impact on this upcoming election.
“Andrew Brightbart famously said that politics are a downstream of culture, and I will say this: it proved more true than ever in 2016, when President Trump upset the establishment,” Crowder said. “He really was the first cultural candidate that that we had ever seen, and that’s why he won.”
According to Crowder, Trump truly impacted how presidents communicate with the public; and that, in essence, is an effect of culture. Crowder said recent changes in the political and social environment of the U.S. are largely due to the rise of big tech companies on the media scene, and he accused both traditional and new mainstream media outlets of attempting to fight the president at every turn.
“If 2016 was the World War I of culture wars, as the term has been coined, 2020 is going to be the World War II,” Crowder said. “In 2020, more important than ever is going to be you, Generation Z.”
According to Crowder, Gen Z is the most conservative generation to come out of the tech age, though he said popular media has tried to convince young people otherwise..
“When we [millennials] were young, you had George W. Bush and the conservative establishment and Dick Cheney,” Crowder said. “But these kids [Gen Z] had Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi. ... They had far left everything.”
Crowder said mainstream media has a tendency to silence conservative voices due to a fear of radicalization, but he argued that shows like his actually have the opposite effect.
“This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who actually watches our content and like-minded content,” Crowder said. “We are the only content creators who consistently, regularly advocate against violence and who encourage open dialogues. We encourage the rationalization of our own opinions.”
Communication sophomore JB Faught said he often listens to Crowder because he finds his videos interesting and entertaining, and likes how he stirs the pot.
“I like the dialogue he creates on college campuses,” Faught said. “I enjoy watching the controversy. I like to know what other college campuses and other college students have to say and think.”
Faught said it’s important for Crowder to travel to college campuses and spark conversations. And at A&M, seats at last night’s show were in high demand. The event drew in 3.5 times the capacity of Rudder Theatre, according to Crowder, with a line of people extending all the way down Military Walk to Sbisa Dining Hall.
“A lot of the issues he brings up are important topics, and a lot of the time college students are too busy to talk about it,” Faught said. “By bringing it up to college campuses, I think it opens people’s eyes and minds to different sides of things.”
As Crowder presented his ideas with an array jokes and skits, he also incorporated clips of Elizabeth Warren and Beto O’Rourke at debates, saying he preferred to let the Democratic politicians speak for themselves. Drawing another comparison to youth counterculture in the Bush era, Crowder joked that the Democratic party is now just as terrified of Gen Z.
“Millennials, we grew up in the era of George W. Bush and at that point there was Green Day and Christian Conservative was the establishment,” Crowder said. “People wanted to rebel and rock against Bush with shitty punk music and Avril Lavigne, and ‘we hate our parents.’ ... Americans are counterculturalists by design.”