The Hollywood echo-chamber effect

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I had anticipated that with Trump’s victory, I would have the chance to take a deep breath and put my feet up, but no such luck. The world continues to provide me with grist for my little mill.

For instance, a subscriber, knowing that I have worked in Hollywood for decades, wondered why celebrities always seem to be working for, donating to and voting for liberal politicians. It’s a question I have often asked myself. After all, they’re born in all parts of the nation. Although, predictably, a great many, including Barbra Streisand, Whoopi Goldberg, Jimmy Kimmel, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Jay Z, Will Ferrell and Danny Glover, first saw light of day in New York or California, Sarah Jessica Parker hails from Ohio, Beyonce from Texas, Kanye West from Georgia, Stephen Colbert from Washington, D.C. and Bruce Springsteen from New Jersey.

The best I can come up is that a great many of the power brokers in show business are single women, homosexual and/or Jewish. In addition, there is the echo-chamber effect. If everyone you work with – be they directors, producers, studio heads, composers, musicians or fellow actors – are all parroting the same inane sound bites, it might take more than courage, but in fact a suicidal state of mind to dare utter a contrary opinion.

When I was conducting interviews for my book “67 Conservatives You Should Meet Before You Die,” everything I heard Oscar-nominee James Wood say led me to assume he was a conservative. However, when I voiced that conclusion, he quickly corrected me, denying he was even a registered Republican.

It was only a few years later, after he had announced his retirement that he let me know he had lied. He said he had feared that he would have been blacklisted if the truth had come out while he was still seeking employment.

It was surrealistic when Barack Obama told the foreign press during his recent trip to Europe that the only way to govern a country as large and as diverse as the U.S. was by reaching out to your political adversaries. This coming from the man who had told Republicans to sit down, shut up and get out of his way when he was urging his super majority in the Senate to pass into law his uber-liberal agenda. And later, when such items as Obamacare, Cash for Clunkers and a billion-dollar stimulus cost him his majority in Congress, he employed his pen and his phone to trash the Constitution and do an end-run around Congress. Clearly, his idea of reaching out consisted of kicking those not in lockstep with his policies in the butt.

Some people have asked me why I think Donald Trump is conducting meetings with people like Ted Cruz and Mitt Romney as he puts his new administration together. My guess is that he is channeling either Niccolo Machiavelli or Vito Corleone, one or both of the great Italian philosophers who advised that one should keep one’s friends close, but one’s enemies even closer.

Although Mrs. Clinton insists on blaming James Comey for her defeat, columnist Michael Barone places the blame exactly where it belongs, at the expensively shod feet of the candidate herself.

Although voters in the inner-city and college towns weren’t particularly concerned with her private server or the money-grubbing reason she resorted to using it, it cost her mightily with small town and rural Americans who still place a premium on honesty and who still believe that a man’s (or woman’s) word is his or her bond.

Although the pundits and pollsters have been busy pointing to a lower turnout from black voters, Barone reports that the Democratic vote outside big cities plummeted from 52 percent in 2012 to 41 percent in Iowa, 47 to 35 percent in Ohio, 50 to 41 percent in Wisconsin, 44 to 36 percent in Pennsylvania and 52 to 41 percent in Michigan.

In all, it turned the Midwestern electoral vote from 80-38 Democratic in 2012 to 88-30 for the GOP this year. It seems the long-silent Silent Majority had found its voice at long last.

It probably didn’t help her cause that Mrs. Clinton had not only labeled half of Trump’s supporters as deplorable, irredeemable racists, but suggested that it was high time that people’s religious beliefs be changed. As I’m sure the late personality guru, Dale Carnegie, would have counseled her, telling voters that their religion sucks is probably not the ideal way to go about making friends and influencing people.

Law professor Randy Barnett recently penned an article in which he posed two questions the GOP Senate should pose to Trump’s nominees for the Supreme Court. The first is whether they would be originalists in the tradition of Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, meaning they would interpret the Constitution in the way James Madison intended and not the way the editorial board of the New York Times would prefer. The second question is whether they’d have the will to reject stare decisis, a Latin term for “let it stand.” This is the notion that precedents set by previous Supreme Courts should be followed even when they conflict with the original text of the Constitution.

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The question comes down to whether justices feel they must promote the fallacy that the court is an infallible body or, rather, accept the responsibility that goes with the black robe to interpret the text as the founders intended.

There are those, even among those already seated on the Supreme Court like Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan, who believe they should have the authority to act as if the sacred principles set forth in the Constitution should change with the times at the whim of those who, like them, believe they know best. They are cut of the same cloth as those simpletons who think the 10 Commandments are merely suggestions.

Someone sent me an amusing email titled “Anti-Riot Gear for the Anti-Trump Protesters.” It was accompanied by a photo of dozens of baby pacifiers.

It arrived shortly after another email alerted me that most high-school graduates failed a basic civics exam. As college grads, the same bunch did even worse. Although it might strike some as an oddity, it made perfect sense to me. After three years of high school, they were merely ignorant when it came to questions regarding the length of a Senate term, the century in which the Civil War was waged and whether Germany was an ally or an enemy during World War II.

After four years of college, they were just as stupid, but they’d been indoctrinated by left-wing pinheads who let them know that such facts were unessential, that all that should concern them was whether Democrats defeated Republicans in presidential elections, no matter whether those elections took place every two, four, six or 10 years.

I was reminded that Mark Twain once observed that if a person didn’t read a newspaper, he ran the risk of being uninformed, whereas if he did read one, he’d surely be misinformed.

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