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Ed Driscoll

The Emptiness of a Politicized Life

September 29th, 2013 - 4:45 pm

“This may sound odd coming from someone who has spent his life working in political reporting, but I find it extremely sad when people can’t separate politics from the rest of their lives,” Sunny Bunch of the Washington Free Beacon wrote in March. I missed Bunch’s article back then, but saw it at Hot Air this past week, when Allahpundit mentioned it on Wednesday after the Politico got their pixels in a twist over Ted Cruz reciting Dr. Seuss’s “Green Eggs and Ham” to his kids watching at home in the midst of his filibuster. I was tempted to add this to the previous post on weatherman Eric Holthaus’s global warming-induced meltdown, but given the length of that item, and that Bunch’s article is on a slightly different manifestation of the hyper-politicized leftwing mindset, I’m linking to it here:

This is why I find the Orson Scott Card thing so frustrating. The fact that a large group of people think it’s fine to blacklist an artist for political views that are entirely unrelated to his art strikes me as not only a remarkably bad thing for society but also a horribly empty way to go through life. Why deprive yourself of art or of heroes or of mentors simply because they disagree with you about who to vote for?

I’d like to think I’m more tolerant about this sort of thing because I’m a conservative who loves pop culture. If I had to boycott every artist I disagreed with, well, my iPod would be pretty empty and my DVD shelves would be bare. Being tolerant of differing opinions is a defense mechanism, in a way: without tolerance for those I disagree with, I’d go nuts.

I wonder if so many liberals have failed to develop a similar tolerance because they’ve never had to confront their idols disagreeing with them. The entertainment industry and the media are almost uniformly liberal and far more frequently left-liberal than center-right. It comes as a shock that their ideological bubble has been penetrated by the enemy. And when the enemy penetrates your bubble he must be destroyed.

Enter this essay by Kevin Blackwell on Dr. Ben Carson, in which the author has decided to throw a hero of his overboard because, gasp, he believes in lower taxes and doesn’t support affirmative action! And he said so at CPAC! Quelle horreur!

Read the whole thing.

Back in 2010, Matt Labash of the Weekly Standard ran a review of a book by a committed lefty — oh boy, is he committed — titled 538 Ways to Live Work and Play Like a Liberal, which as I wrote at the time, dovetailed perfectly with a passage from Jonah Goldberg’s* Liberal Fascism:

Again, it is my argument that American liberalism is a totalitarian political religion, but not necessarily an Orwellian one. It is nice, not brutal. Nannying, not bullying. But it is definitely totalitarian–or ‘holistic,’ if you prefer–in that liberalism today sees no realm of human life that is beyond political significance, from what you eat to what you smoke to what you say. Sex is political. Food is political. Sports, entertainment, your inner motives and outer appearance, all have political salience for liberal fascists.

And now, so does your choice of pasta.

Is there a return to sanity, a way out, for a society that politicizes all things? A good way out, I mean. Because in the past, societal hyper-politicization has tended to end rather badly for all concerned. (See also: Soviet Union, post-Weimar Germany, Communist China, Vietnam, etc.)

* Speaking of Jonah, RIP, Cosmo the Wonderdog.

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The fact that a large group of people think it’s fine to blacklist an artist for political views that are entirely unrelated to his art strikes me as not only a remarkably bad thing for society but also a horribly empty way to go through life. Why deprive yourself of art or of heroes or of mentors simply because they disagree with you about who to vote for?

I do think you need to put a caveat in there about situations where the celebrity in question won't stop blabbing their political views, to the point where you can no longer separate the actor/actress from their roles.

I can still watch old episodes of Mary Tyler Moore without getting irked at Ed Asner. But since the early Reagan years he's been the Hollywood version of Bill de Blasio, and in part owes his longevity in Hollywood to his ideology. It's not so much that you're a liberal in Hollywood that causes me to shy away from giving you cash, it's when you're a liberal who won't shut up trying to lecture everyone and/or demonizing those who disagree with you that causes me to shy away from giving you cash.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
" I find it extremely sad when people can’t separate politics from the rest of their lives,”

The sad voice of surrender as they face social pressure to conform to the new morality, here mis-lablled as “politics.” Get used to the new normal: you must publicly swear fealty to race-class-gender ideology, a totalizing ideology which replaces all prior moral systems, or you will face social pressure: denunciation, vandalism, boycotts, regulation, fines, and imprisonment.

Card is this year’s Anita Bryant. For almost 40 years now I’ve heard that “it’s sad that politics,” but it never stops. That intolerant rejection of everything and everyone not wholly enthralled by race-class-gender ideology, means cultural marxism will win.

"Because in the past, societal hyper-politicization has tended to end rather badly for all concerned.”

To the contrary, the last change this big was called Christainizing the Roman Empire. The Christians won, but the sun has set on the outmoded ideas of Christianity, Capitalism, and the American Constitution.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Is there a way out of this hyper-politicized mess we call a society? Well, remember the USSR fell and the Cold War ended without a shot being fired, despite the fact the country possessed the largest army and nuclear arsenal (in terms of numbers) in the world. And if anyone had predicted as much a few years earlier, almost everyone would have said that person was nuts.

So I gotta say, yeah, there is a way out but no, probably no one knows what it is or will see it coming.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
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