Bitter Clingers Have Taken Over Your Television, or How America Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Duck

Did you hear that?  The shotgun blast heard ‘round the world?  It happened when A&E Network’s hit reality TV show Duck Dynasty reached over 8 million viewers in its season premiere.

Like any gunshot, it got my attention. I tuned in to see what all the fuss is about and am now hopelessly hooked on this revolutionary bit of televised perfection. I quickly discovered that Duck Dynasty has very little to do with ducks or duck hunting, and everything to do with traditional American values and the current American condition.

Like all great television, Duck Dynasty works because it follows a proven formula.  In the case of Duck Dynasty, that formula is the roadmap to realizing the quintessential American dream. Have a clever idea. Sacrifice. Work harder than the next guy. Make it happen. Earn your wealth the old-fashioned way. Pass the business and its blessings along to your children and grandchildren. Have fun. Never forget where, or what, you came from. Give thanks to God. Repeat.

Like most rednecks and hillbillies, the starring members of the Robertson clan of West Monroe, Louisiana, are as clever as the proverbial old swamp fox. And so are the development execs at A&E. With Duck Dynasty they’ve struck more than ratings gold. They’ve struck a vital nerve in contemporary American culture. And I think they know exactly what they are doing.

Each week millions think they’re tuning in to watch the crazy and entertaining antics of a bunch of  rich rednecks with beautiful wives, powerful trucks, bountiful firearms, a knack for explosives and avoiding the drudgery of work, and an endless supply of homespun one-liners.