Yesterday, I read a comment that wondered why conservatives tend to adore Hollywood actors who go into politics. Considering how much the right tends to bash the entertainment industry, it seems a tad hypocritical for them to then rally behind people like Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Charlton Heston, Fred Thompson, and even Sonny Bono and Fred Grandy.
I have an idea why that might be so.
Conservatives tend to bash “Hollywood” (as a shorthand term for the entertainment biz) because it tends to be so outspokenly, in-your-face, flagrantly liberal. That’s usually coupled with a decided lack of intellectual heft to back up their arguments, which tend to gain glowing support from their peers and entourages and other sycophants. Conservatives have learned that it’s best to shut up, to “go along to get along,” and not draw too much attention to their beliefs. That means that for entertainers to be openly conservative is a very risky career move.
So when one of them does, they tend to lose a lot of work.
For a conservative to emerge, successful, from their “outing” is very rare — and a testament to their appeal to the public.
In that sense, the Hollywood environment has an almost-Darwinian affect on conservatives — it’s really a “survival of the fittest,” and those that can not only endure, but emerge successfully, from the crucible serves as a testament to their strength.
With that in mind, is it any wonder that conservatives tend to like Hollywood conservatives? If there is any environment that serves as a good proving ground for a national campaign, that has to be it.
And anyone who’d like to stack up Fred Thompson’s intelligence and political acumen against Alec Baldwin, Rosie O’Donnell, or Barbra Streisand (or all three together), I’d be willing to put up some money.