I’ve got a new piece up at Doublethink about conservatives who work in culture.
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“Another behind-the-scenes technician agrees, ‘I get the sense that the old guard had it rougher. They’re far more jaded. It’s live and let live now, especially if you’re a fiscal conservative or a libertarian.’”
I was hoping you’d take this a little further, especially with regard to opinions on gay marriage and illegal immigration – considering that they seem more “culturally” significant (thus more important to Hollywood) than libertarianism or fiscal conservatism. I assume most of the significant people you name in the article wouldn’t qualify as “hardcore social conservatives” along those lines. Do you think your career would be/have been different if you were against gay marriage?
I had similar thoughts as Tony, who put it a lot better than I was able to. I’d add that being Pro-Life and an Iraq hawk are also less acceptable in Hollywood (based on my impressions, not experience).
Yes, there’s a big difference between being against capital gains taxes and being against marriage rights. It’s one thing to believe in small government as a general principal and another to be, well, Andrew Breitbart. No one had ever heard of him until he became the poster boy of conservative victimhood.
Assuming that the leftist dominance of cultural fields is real (though not totalitarian as Conor’s piece demonstrates), is that really an issue considering the right’s dominance of business fields (also not totalitarian)? I’ve always thought that over the society as a whole, the left’s sway in soundstages and academia served as an appropriate balance to the right’s hold over boardrooms and the Chamber of Commerce.
“is that really an issue considering the right’s dominance of business fields.”
The right, especially if referring to the social-conservative right, does not dominate business fields. The Marxist view implicitly of collective class interests grafting onto politics is false for a host of reasons, which I will only here mention one pertaining to economic issues: business regulations, which is far more relevant since the Democratic Party is not a Marxist-socialist party bent on establishing worker control of the means of production, objectively do benefit some companies within an industry, and other industries.
And with foreign policy and social issues, the whole class-economic analysis isn’t even on the table.
“That Breitbart calls the cultural left “totalitarians” is instructive. The word implies that the left is supreme, ruthless, and all-powerful.”
Overall, a nice piece, but c’mon, you’re stretching here. There are lots of totalitarians who are ruthless but neither supreme nor all powerful. Anyway, that’s just a petty point.
I’ve very against Rush and all those other blowhards, but that was one big reason why I was so enthusiastic about McCain. I’m slightly irked by the fact, I must confess, that you seem so against Rush but wouldn’t support a candidacy that, if it had succeeded, would have drastically reduced the warmth and extent of the Republican party’s ties to such idiots. (I mean, I know he’s not an idiot, but he’s still an idiot.) McCain has his flaws, and they’re non-trivial, but I have to say that he is a vastly more reasonable and honest politician than almost any other, including, I’m coming to believe, our current President. And I think, being conservative, that he also has the virtue of being right about a lot of stuff.
Your is a very Pollyanaish assessment, Conor. As others have mentioned above, distinctions must be made among conservatism or a right-wing orientation with regard to culture as opposed to economics in domestic policy and with regard to foreign policy as opposed to any kind of domestic policy. While it may not be all that hard to be a libertarian these days in the cultural fields, it is, if anything, harder than ever before to be a social or religious traditionalist or to be a neoconservative in foreign policy. Open, orthodox Christianity of any sort, opposition to abortion and/or gay marriage, support for the War on Terror and/or the War in Iraq — all of those are clear deal-breakers so far as the cultural left is concerned and views that one would be a fool to advertise if seeking work in a cultural field. The cultural left isn’t bothered by libertarian views on economics, because, basically, deep down, those are their own views, however much of a sop the Democratic Party must still throw out to get the union vote. But it remains so reflexively and vitriolically hostile to anything at all that event reminds them of the cultural right that one’s career can be scuppered just by betraying an undercurrent Texas twang or Southern drawl — that is, unless one wants to play a retarded person or a racist cop in bad movies.