Give The People What They Want


In the March 7 edition of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, liberal columnist Eugene Kane fired another salvo at the Democrat Party’s target-du-jour, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. In the piece “Scott Walker, Charlie Sheen: In the same boat?” Kane compares Walker to the erstwhile star of the sitcom “Two and Half Men.”

While Kane’s method is a bit hackneyed, his vertex from the poster boy for “Just Say No” to the Cheesehead State’s Horatio at the Bridge—fending off the Democrat/SEIU Etruscan Horde—is somewhat understandable. Being a liberal, Kane is writing for liberals. Being a Wisconsin liberal, Kane is writing for the same teachers’ union layabouts, professional protesters and run-of-the-mill thugs serving in the Democrats’ ongoing war against the children of Wisconsin.

The fact that Kane reached for this particular metaphor should serve as a cautionary note about the growing acceptance of otherwise marginal personalities as cultural icons. While political bloviations from ill-informed (George Clooney), deliberately duplicitous (Dan Rather) or just plain crazy (Rosie O’Donnell) celebrities isn’t new, the establishment of an intellectual equivalency between them and those whose prestige is based on some semblance of accomplishment beyond starring in some ham-fisted sequel (Clooney), destroying an entire news organizations’ credibility (Rather), or being just plain crazy (O’Donnell) appears to be gathering steam.

I’ll call it the celebutization of America. While it might not necessarily portend the decline and fall of our civilization, it does serve to lower the nature of the national discourse. When Oprah’s endorsement of President Barack Obama is considered momentous, real examination of his presidential acumen falls by the wayside.

For the sake of balance, when Mike Huckabee takes to the airwaves to decry unwed Natalie Portman’s pregnancy, Huckabee is diminishing the real issue of broken homes and fatherless children. When Lady Gaga is asked her (his? its?) opinion on… well… anything, we lose collective IQ points. Actually, I suspect the mere existence of Lady Gaga may be costing us a few in that column.

Be honest. When was the last time you heard some Hollywood talking mannequin offer a pronouncement on anything bigger than makeup and hair care that wasn’t mind-numbingly stupid?

“I am like so like glad you know that um… like Obama is totally like the President, you know? Cause like I am soo bummed that there’s like… war for oil and stuff. Oh, and go see Babez’n’Wheelz 4!”

We can do better than the absurdity of celebrity support of Obama for President, environmental protections for the Endangered Northern Idaho tree ferret and/or free abortions for Gabonese 8-year-olds.

In the 1960s, noisy liberal entertainers were… noisy. By the 1990s, they were making policy. Remember the infamous Alar hearings in 1989? Hey, Meryl Streep—stop it. While you’re at it, stop with the ABBA movies, as well. Ted Danson and Laura Dern are afraid the human race will die in a global warming inferno? Laura, you already look sickly. Ted, feed her an organic… something.

In 1997 a truly decent woman passed away after years of service to those in need. Although she was famous, she never sought the limelight and indeed seemed somewhat uncomfortable in its glare. She bore without complaint the deprivations of life with those whom she sought to comfort. She even won a Nobel Prize back in the days when it was worth more than an after-dinner mint at Spago. When she passed away, stories of her death were overshadowed by a bigger headline from five days prior.

If only Mother Theresa had looked better in a Versace pantsuit she might have been more celebrated than Princess Diana.

The world is afire with battles between oppressors and the oppressed. Our economy teeters on a precipice. Our President is the most colossally inept executive since Carter, if not Harding. These stories and more, coming up!

But first: Lindsay Lohan is drunk, Paris Hilton is silly and some rapper is dead.

Personal Liberty

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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