Self-flagellation is never sexy — not even when sexy people do it.
I’m talking about individuals like Latina actress Zoe Saldana, who said that Hollywood liberals like her “got cocky and became arrogant and… became bullies.” She implied that this behavior led people to vote for Trump.
Of course, Hollywood celebrities have recently been wailing and gnashing their teeth over Trump’s victory. Because so many of them are liberal, this is perfectly understandable. What is mystifying, however, is the object of their scorn: their fellow progressives.
In addition to Saldana, there is celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who said, “the utter contempt with which privileged Eastern liberals such as myself discuss red-state, gun-country, working-class America as ridiculous and morons and rubes is largely responsible” for Trump.
Wow, that is quite the self-indictment. And then there is our old friend Bill Maher, who believes “liberal culture’s preoccupation with language helped put Trump in the White House.”
Indeed, many people believe that endorsements from liberal celebrities “don’t matter anymore [and] more likely and long-term: They hurt.”
Yes, there is no shortage of celebrities who are admitting their culpability in Trump’s rise, even if they themselves are ardent touchy-feely progressives. Hell, it’s apparently because they’re touchy-feely progressives in the first place that we are in this mess.
But there is one little flaw with this apology tour: All of it is bullshit.
In a way, it is just more celebrity self-aggrandizement. Celebrities are saying that their opinions have the power to convince everyone how to vote — especially those knuckleheaded Neanderthals in the Rust Belt.
However, celebrities who humble brag about their cultural power are only the most visible manifestation of an insidious development in our society.
I’m talking about progressives who are so busy blaming themselves for Trump that they are not focused on fighting right-wing demagoguery.
And yes, that forms the perfect segue to my next post. So stay tuned.