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Home JackpineRadical Rooms JPR Reading Room Hey Hollywood, Smugness Isn't a Political Strategy

  • Purveyor (2622 posts)
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    Hey Hollywood, Smugness Isn't a Political Strategy

    JAN 11, 2017 9:00 AM EST
    By Megan McArdle

    Ah, Hollywood awards season. It must be time for celebrities to don gorgeous clothes, have each individual hair arranged by some stylist who charges by the femtosecond, and get up on stage to advocate for some political cause — and for the rest of us to spend days arguing about what they said.


    The problem with Hollywood people making political speeches is not that their political ideas are worse than anyone else’s, or that they enjoy sharing their half-baked ideas. This is a minor and forgivable social sin, like arriving five minutes early for a party. No, the problem with Hollywood people making political speeches is that the speeches themselves are bad, at least at their presumed goal of producing political change.

    Take Streep. She’s right that Trump should not have made fun of a disabled reporter. However, she surrounded that point with an extended discussion of how mean everyone was being to actors and journalists.

    This was a double mistake. First, it accepted Trump’s frame: it’s a handful of liberal elites against the rest of the country. That’s an argument he just won, so it’s unwise to try for an immediate rematch. And second, there is in this whole world no sight less rhetorically compelling than that of successful people with fun and rewarding jobs, and a decent income, complaining that they’re victims of the unglamorous folks who labor at all the strenuously boring work required to make their lives nice. Even I, who have one of those jobs, am rolling my eyes and saying “Good heavens, suck it up.” The only people who don’t recoil from this sort of vacuous self-pity are those similarly situated in elite liberal institutions — but since those folks already hate Trump, you haven’t actually changed anything.



    Koko, MattSh, Silver Witch and 5 othersbemildred, historylovr, jeff47, PennLawyer, Babel 17 like this

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  • Babel 17 (3732 posts)
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    1. It's always worked for them

    The water they drink is fine, the food at their banquets and Clinton fundraisers uncontaminated.

    All in all, they’re doing pretty, pretty, pretty …



  • tularetom (2310 posts)
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    2. They remind me of a bunch of medieval aristocrats secure in their bubble

    like Prince Prospero, while outside, the plague rages uncontrolled, killing off the common people.

    I went home with a waitress the way I always do  How was I to know she was with the russians, too?