I already mentioned how impressed I was by Ronald Reagan’s 1964 speech, which I posted here, and listed to in its entirety while folding laundry. Listening to Reagan made that task go much faster. It’s a fabulous speech, with each idea — most of which are as relevant today re government spending, individual freedom, and threats from abroad as they were in 1964 — beautifully developed and presented.
The speech is a great reminder that, in a pre-MTV era, in a day before spin and sound bytes, people could develop ideas. Theoretically, they still can, but no one has the patience to listen. My kids, who are bright enough, have a 3 second attention span. If you haven’t caught their interest in that time, give up.
But that’s not actually the point I want to make. I want to make a different point, about the insults that emanate from the Left (by which I really mean the media) when a credible conservative candidate appears on the scene.
I was three when Reagan made his speech. I was still relatively young when he was governor. This means that my first real memories of him involve his presidency. One of the things I remember most vividly from that time is the fact that one of the “worst” insults routinely hurled at him by the media and other self-styled intellectuals on the Left was that he was an actor. That meant, prima facie, that he was stupid. Up until the end of the Reagan presidency, “actor” and “stupid” were cross-referenced in the Leftist dictionary.
That all changed with Clinton, when Hollywood went hog wild for a president, and he reciprocated that love. In today’s media world, actors who are seen as credible voices on the political scene, opining on talk shows, in the news, before Congress, in the Lincoln bedroom, and at pricey White House parties.
What one discovers each time most of them speaks is that enough of them are so stupid that one is forced to conclude that, subject to a few exceptions (Reagan, Kevin Costner, and Gary Sinese, to name just three), actors really are singularly unsuited to opine on political issues. If you check out the fun at Big Hollywood, you’ll get to see regularly the imbalance between intelligence and lack of intelligence when it comes to the Hollywood crew, with the scales weighing heavily on the unintelligent side.