It's often said that you can judge a man by his friends, but you can judge him even more by his enemies. And there's a lot of truth to this. When you see a certain group of people united in their hatred against someone, it prompts you to ask: Why do they perceive this person to be such a threat? Why do they hate him (or her) so passionately?
Today, the question begging to be asked is this: Why do so many Hollywood elites despise President Trump? Why the intensity of the vitriol? Why the unbridled viciousness? Why the open death wishes? Why the level of vulgarity?
Is it because they are morally superior human beings, enlightened in their understanding and conducting their lives on a higher more plane? Is it because they find the president's personality to be offensive? Or is it because they are morally bankrupt?
Before you say, "They find the president's personality to be offensive," ask yourself this question: If Ted Cruz were president or if Mike Pence were president, would these same Hollywood elites be any less hostile?
In my opinion, the answer is absolutely not. In fact, they might be even uglier in their vitriolic attacks.
That's because the hostility ultimately comes down to moral values. To the idea of the Christian roots of America. To the battle over abortion and LGBT "rights." (I put "rights" in quotes not because LGBT people don't deserve equal protection under the law. They absolutely do. But the goals of LGBT activists go far beyond "equal protection" and "equal law.")
Trump may step on more toes, but he is not the real target. The target is those who hold to conservative moral values. It is morality, more than personality, that drives the hostility.
Why am I so sure?
Here are three strong reasons.
First, these same Hollywood elites had no real problem with Trump's personality before he ran for president.
When he was one of them, they worked with him, joined him on his reality TV show and attended his gala affairs.
Yet he was certainly the same man back then, but only more so. (In other words, back then, he was known for his philandering and his strip club casino, and no one viewed him as a paragon of moral virtue.)
Why, then, do these same stars vilify him today? It's because he has become a conservative Republican. Because he has surrounded himself with godly Christians. Because he no longer promotes Hollywood (im)morality. Now everything about the man is fodder for their next attack.
Second, Hollywood elites have a track record of attacking conservative Republican leaders.
Just this week, Jim Carrey likened Ted Cruz to a vampire, while an article on The Hill notes that, "Several prominent entertainers have donated to [Beto] O'Rourke's Senate campaign [running against Cruz], according to Federal Election Commission filings, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Jimmy Kimmel, Rosie O'Donnell and Chelsea Handler." (In case you're wondering, none of them live in Texas.)
Speaking of Jimmy Kimmel, what about his attack on Vice President Pence at this year's Academy Awards?
As reported by CBN News, "Vice President Mike Pence has come under attack once again by media leftists for his conservative Christian beliefs—this time it happened at the Oscars in front of millions.
"Academy Awards host Jimmy Kimmel made a joke about a film that features a homosexual romance between a teen boy and a man—a story that some might consider pedophilia. . . .
"Kimmel piled on to the attacks against Pence's Christian beliefs saying, 'We don't make films like Call Me by Your Name to make money. We make them to upset Mike Pence.'"
The audience laughed with delight.
Or shall we go back to August 25, 2004, when the Telegraph reported that, "Hollywood's already fervent support for Senator John Kerry cranked up a gear last night with the unveiling of 10 new anti-Bush advertisements by award-winning directors featuring A-list stars"?
Donald Trump is just the latest target of the Hollywood elite, and it is largely because of his association with conservative Christians and their values.
Third, in general, Hollywood is known for its opposition to conservative values, as demonstrated by the movies and shows it produces, along with its hostility to conservative stars.
It has long been demonstrated that the movies that make the most money are often the most family friendly. Yet Hollywood pumps out a steady stream of movies glorifying immorality, celebrating homosexuality and using gratuitous violence to entertain.
And even though faith-based movies have done very well in recent years, there is a steady, anti-Bible, anti-Christian undertone found in all too many movies and TV shows. (For verification of these points, see here and here, and note Michael Medved's important book Hollywood vs. America: Popular Culture And The War on Tradition.)
As noted in this 2013 article, "Chris Hicks, a columnist and movie critic, attributes these trends to Hollywood filmmakers' liberal thinking. The cultural values and acceptable norms have shifted over the years, which are reflected in the box office numbers. As with anyone and their peers, filmmakers want to be respected and admired. In the movie industry, to be viewed as a serious filmmaker it requires the production of edgier films."
I believe he is right.
In addition, as reported by Fox News on Tuesday, "Hollywood conservatives say more stars stay quiet to avoid public backlash, being blacklisted."
In the words of Pat Boone, now 84 years old, "There used to be more of us. Tom Selleck, Jon Voight, Bruce Willis, who were outspoken, but they've been browbeaten and ridiculed, which is the main instrument on the left to shut us up."
Fox also quoted former Home Improvement child star Zachery Ty Bryan, who "told 'Fox & Friends' that many would be surprised to learn of the amount of anonymous conservative celebrities that don't talk much about their stance."
"Surprisingly, there are a lot more conservatives in Hollywood than you would expect," he said. "They stay more anonymous."
And they stay more anonymous because they want to keep their jobs.
What a sad commentary on the state of Hollywood.
I could also give you a fourth reason that the hatred against President Trump would be just as intense (if not more so) had Cruz or Pence been president, and that is this: Just look at the candidates who received the most zealous support from Hollywood. They were almost all far-left. Need I say more?
There are certainly many gifted, hard-working, visionary people in Hollywood, from actors to directors and from videographers to writers (and more). And none of them are totally bereft morally.
But it's quite clear that the dominant, loud majority is dead set against conservative Christian values, proudly so. May the Lord give them a change of heart and mind.
(For a related poll on my Twitter feed, go here.)
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Evangelicals at the Crossroads: Will We Pass the Trump Test? Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter, or YouTube.
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