It's not often, but every once in a while a notable celebrity will quietly reveal his conservative bent, or admit this country 'aint half as bad as the ultra-libs seem to think it is. David Mamet, acclaimed playwright, screenwriter, director (GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS, THE VERDICT, WAG THE DOG, SPEED-THE-PLOW) is one of those. Though I wouldn't hand him his conservative badge of honour, just yet, he wrote a very interesting article for the Village Voice, recently, entitled: David Mamet: Why I Am No Longer A 'Brain-Dead Liberal- an election-season essay'. His words, not mine.
"I took the liberal view for many decades, but I believe I have changed my mind. As a child of the '60s, I accepted as an article of faith that
government is corrupt, that business is exploitative, and that people are generally good at heart.These cherished precepts had, over the years, become ingrained as increasingly impracticable prejudices. Why do I say impracticable? Because although I still held these beliefs, I no longer applied them in my life. How do I know? My wife informed me. We were riding along and listening to NPR. I felt my facial muscles tightening, and the words beginning to form in my mind: Shut the fuck up. "?" she prompted. And her terse, elegant summation, as always, awakened me to a deeper truth: I had been listening to NPR and reading
various organs of national opinion for years, wonder and rage contending for pride of place. Further: I found I had been—rather charmingly, I thought—referring to myself for years as "a brain-dead liberal," and to NPR as "National Palestinian Radio."
It's a brilliant, wonderfully revelatory dissertation on how he came to terms with his more tolerant and accepting conservative side. He talks about how he came to realize that the faults of President George W. Bush were no different than the faults of President John F. Kennedy, whom he happened to revere. He talks about class, but how unlike the Marxist view, the U.S. class system is not static. The poor can rise from the depths of poverty and make something of their lives, whilst the rich and powerful can fall.
It's a fascinating 5 pages of the inner workings of an ex-lib, and well worth the read.
Let's hope more in my industry, and other traditionally liberal fields, find their way to the Truth, as David Mamet has.