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"The Right-Wing Tango - Commentary by Joseph C. Phillips"

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Quiet as its kept Hollywood is filled with conservatives. I am not speaking of republicans. You can turn over any rock and find an Arlen Specter waiting to crawl out. I am talking about real dyed in the wool constitution loving, God-fearing conservatives.

I meet them all the time: at auditions, on film sets, at parties. Generally speaking they are rather reserved. We engage in what I call the right-wing tango for a bit, dancing around each other giving vague answers to questions until one of us finally gives the secret password. Following the discovery of shared ideology there is usually a great deal of back slapping and genuine excitement at finding a brother in arms.

Part of this reserve is innate. By nature conservatives are generally not given to loud talking and frenetic displays. After all one of the hallmarks of conservatism is a desire to live ones life the best way one can without interference or hindrance from our neighbors or the state. Miki Grant may not have intended to, but in her 1972 Broadway musical “Don’t Bother Me I Can’t cope” she gave voice to the conservative mantra when she wrote, “all I need is less fat back, more greenback and YOU [government] off my back!”

There is, however, a part of this reserve that is learned behavior and has become necessary because the Hollywood left, so tolerant and loving of diversity that they have embraced cop killers, child molesters and Marxist dictators are not so tolerant of conservatives.

A brief conversation with any show business industry conservative is to be regaled with stories of lost friendships and business associations and being professionally ostracized -- scripts that go unread and phone calls that go unreturned; Liberal berating for so much as hinting at conservative sympathies and leftist inattentiveness to courtesy and decorum. I can personally attest to having experienced all of the above at some time or another, which makes me about average among Hollywood conservatives.

To be certain there are those in this town that couldn’t care less what others think, have the courage of their convictions and let their thoughts be known on any number of issues. Some of these people are well-known in the industry, with money and power; others are, well, struggling to make ends meet. There are also many others with fame fortune and influence that are content to stay in the shadows doing the dance too fearful to utter a sound.

I understand that most folks have little interest in activism, but all of us desire (and ought to demand) the freedom to be comfortable in the expression of our quite reasonable attitudes about our country and our faith. That is true even among the glitter and glamour of Hollywood. The question then for Conservatives in this town is can we afford to remain silent in the face of repugnant liberalism? There is a conversation taking place about the direction this nation is going to take: are we going to abandon free market capitalism for European soft socialism? Are we going to sacrifice our freedoms in order to save the planet from carbon dioxide? Are we going to banish Christianity from our public square? Are we going to tear down all of our social institutions and rebuild them with post modernist cement? These questions and others are confronting our republic and we in Hollywood occupy a unique platform from which to influence the discussion.

It isn’t necessary for everyone to pick up a placard and take to the streets. It is however, essential that we speak up if only to defend our good names from accusations of bigotry and ignorance. The excuse for standing silently by while the left runs roughshod over our culture is wearing thin ESPECIALLY when that excuse comes from those fortunate enough to be enjoying the generous fruits borne of labor in the Hollywood vineyards. What is there to fear? Unemployment? Unpopularity? Most of us familiar with the daily grind of show business life are used to periods of unemployment; unemployment is part of the job as is the sound of crickets clapping.

It is worth remembering that the declaration of Independence -the keystone document of our republic-was a very public document. The signatories were mostly wealthy men that pledged their “lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.” John Hancock is rumored to have said that he was signing his name in large script so King George could read it without putting on his spectacles. Are the convictions of the Hollywood beau monde so easily purchased? Has sacred honor suddenly become cheap?

There is strength in numbers and there are many more of us in Hollywood than most imagine or the left ever feared.

And for whatever it’s worth consider my name writ large. Far be it from me to demand that anyone in this town be forced to put on spectacles.

Joseph C. Phillips is the author of “He Talk Like A White Boy” available wherever books are sold.


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