The left still has not figured it out. People do not like having their free thought boxed in. And they can sense when the ruling class have an appetite to do so. Many an academic and political commentator observed the rise of political correctness throughout the 1990’s and into the early 2000’s. More recently, it has set in to the point where it effects people’s daily lives and is antithetical to freedom of speech.
In a 2017 interview, award-winning producer of such films as Minority Report and Schindler’s List Gerald Molen observed the shift. “In the 90’s, it was never really an issue you had to hide. I was always forthright”, he said about being openly a Republican. “It used to be we could have a conversation with two opposing points of view and it would be amiable. At the end, we always walked away and had lunch together.” Now, he says, “The acrimony — it’s there. It’s front and centre.”
This is no conspiracy theory. A US analysis of where various professions fall on the political spectrum by the non-partisan non-profit CPAC shows this:

The professions highlighted in red — far to the left — are responsible for virtually all education, media and entertainment. The left-wing orthodoxy that has engulfed popular culture is merely the natural outcome of this disparity.

Freedom of expression is more than just a simple idea conceived by enlightenment philosophers such as John Locke. It’s also more than just a right fought for and earned by successive generations. It’s a miraculous triumph of the will of the individual over the pressure of the collective. Love of free expression is the hallmark of free thinking people.

Artistic expression challenges the status quo. Art demands freedom of expression. Any art that is manufactured to conform to the cult-like ideology of political correctness ceases to be art and instantly becomes propaganda. This is why Americans are turning away from even their most classically American cultural totems; Broadway, ESPN and the NFL, awards shows like the Golden Globes and Grammies, Late Night shows, the list goes on.

Even many celebrities, long ensconced in the comfortable groupthink of overwhelmingly Democrat cities like Los Angeles, Silicon Valley and New York now sense that the era of political correctness is dead. In late April, I’m sure you heard, Kanye went on a bit of an anti-left tirade:

I’ve never really liked rap or hip hop (because I have taste), but “Dragon Energy” is my new favourite phrase. Chance The Rapper, another huge artist, joined in defending Kanye and taking aim at the identity politics of the left:

The left, in response, absolutely proved Kanye’s point. After he dared to pose in a MAGA hat with some white guys, The Atlantic ran this headline: Who Is to Blame for Kanye West’s MAGA Hat? Excuse me? What is there to be blamed for? Liking a President under who black unemployment is at a record low? Just because hysterical grown-up children won’t stop saying Trump is literally hitler, does not make it so.

Kanye has always been an individualistic, weird and zany character, and always tweeted in a bizzare, stream-of-consciousness style. But when he expresses praise for Trump, he’s accused of being “mentally unstable”.

When I started writing this blog, I certainly never thought I would be citing Kim Kardashian for her understanding of the necessity for free thought, but such is the bizzare timeline we find ourselves in.

Maxine Waters (A California Democrat), who is one of the dumbest people in American Government, came out to condemn Kanye for daring to support her ideological enemy;

“Kanye West is a very creative young man who has presented some of the most revolutionary material in the African-American community. But we also think that sometimes Kanye West talks out of turn and perhaps sometimes he needs some assistance in helping him to formulate some of his thoughts.We don’t think that he actually means to do harm, but we’re not sure he really understands the impact of what he’s saying, at the time that he’s saying it and how that weighs on, particularly the African American community — and for young people in general. And I think maybe he should think twice about politics, and maybe not have so much to say.”

Yikes. Democrats and their supporters still don’t get it, but it is exactly this audacity, like they have some claim of ownership over Kanye’s thoughts and speech, that is costing them in what they thought would be landslide victories leading up to the midterms.

Eminem has been desperately trying to bring the cultural fight to Donald Trump, but has been absolutely ignored by the President, much to his frustration. His latest album, on which he decries “being white” as “embarrassing” and makes him want to kill himself, has seen absolutely dismal sales.

Cardi B recently expressed libertarian views on taxation in a rant about how the awful Democrat government of New York is wasting the enormous revenues it extracts from her. She also recently expressed a conservative view on abortion.

The phenomenon is not limited to the music industry. In the comic book market dominated by the increasingly social justice-leaning Marvel and DC, a former Marvel writer has had impressive success going independent. He identifies as a libertarian-conservative and his crowdfunded comics are a call back to the golden age of comics, before Superman and Captain America were ashamed to be American.

In comedy, Rob Schneider recently called out SNL for being ruined by its overtly leftist politics, saying Alec Baldwin’s portrayal of Trump is “hard to watch.” “Alec Baldwin is a brilliant actor … he’s not a comedian.” Bill Maher, who is one of the various left-leaning Late Night hosts but a defender of free speech, questioned the Democrats gun control narrative.

Now obviously, it’s not like Kanye and Cardi B are right-wing heroes. But this is a significant cultural shift that we need in order to break the mould. The reason the right wing of politics has lost such a grip on the culture – why the left has been able to shift the Overton Window of popular culture so far in their favour, is the absolute absence of libertarian or conservative messages and cultural values expressed by figures in mainstream popular culture. Those few who do are treated as absolute renegades by the rest – look at James Woods and Clint Eastwood.

The age of political correctness is dead. The left is comfortably inhabiting its rotting, bloated corpse, and something is starting to smell.


This article originally appeared on Pop and Locke on Medium.

Pop and Locke is a Libertarian-Conservative Popular Culture and Politics Blog bringing you news and opinions that cut through the mainstream mould. It was inspired by an appreciation for enlightenment philosophy and a passion for our increasingly wacky popular culture.

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