Late in April, Andrew Klavan wrote a wonderfully erudite piece about culture and the media entitled Toward a New American Culture. Klavan begins his analysis by noting:
For many years, conservatives have been complaining about the left-wing bias of both the mainstream media and popular culture. The two are intimately connected because, over and above commercial success, the culture and the artists who create it are empowered by reviews, prestige and awards that the mainstream media bestow, facilitate and publicize.
But it’s now become clear that conservatives are wrong. The media are not biased against the right. They are openly hostile towards us. They are openly attempting to crush one point of view and elevate another. This is not a conspiracy. It is simply the result of a poisonous conformity, a climate of opinion which the MSM, populated almost exclusively by liberals, barely even realize they inhabit.
But in allowing themselves to become immersed in this climate, the bulk of the American media have now become the toadies of the state and the enemies of the people.
Although I am not an artist, I work in a profession (academia) where, if made known, my political and social beliefs could sink my career. The people that I work with are not evil–in fact, I personally like a great many of them–but once their innate assumptions about social justice, environmental justice, the prerogative of the educated elite to determine the course of the nation, and their horror at the folly of letting the less-educated “People” determine their own will are challenged, they go on the offensive. The result is either (1) an attempt to “re-educate” the person who poses a thread, the outcome of which has you publicly renouncing your beliefs and denouncing everything that you know to be true in order to be accepted back into the fold, or (2) marginalization, isolation and demotion.
Klavan provides a vision of what the New American Culture might entail:
Individualism [emphasis mine] is the very essence of both conservatism and art. But I think we can say that such a culture would reflect and uplift the values and perspectives that made the west and America the greatest and freest places on the globe; it would put forward an image of man as our founders knew him to be, flawed and sinful yet capable of striving toward dignity and salvation through self-reliance and sacrifice… In truth, there is only one essential principle our new culture needs to remember and embody and it’s this: liberty is better than slavery. This principle alone implies a moral order and a human purpose. It makes a small state better than a big one. It makes America better than, say, Saudi Arabia. It makes a religion based on “love thy neighbor,” better than one based on submission. This principle alone will guide us away from mealy-mouthed self-abasement to balanced self-criticism and praise amidst our search for the dignity, strength and morality befitting free men and women…. If artists guided by this principle begin to create, if reviewers guided by it write reviews, if foundations give us grants and awards, if investors give us the funding we need, then the cultural infra-structure of the left will collapse of the rot and corruption of its bad ideas. We will take back the culture and if we take back the culture, we will take back the country too.
In this spirit, I link to two student videos created for the Young America’s Foundation. These young people were willing to step forward and challenge a liberal canard: that redistribution of wealth is a positive good. The aroma of hypocrisy among the student interviewees does not go unnoticed. I encourage you to support this worthy organization.