In an astonishing reversal of Hollywood history, just as liberals here once considered themselves an endangered species, so do conservatives today. They no longer are free to talk in the open, because they feel — rightly — we're no longer prepared to listen, any more than they're prepared to listen to liberals. There's deafness on both sides.
Tim Allen made headlines this week when he groused: "You gotta be real careful around here. You get beat up if you don't believe what everybody else believes. This is like '30s Germany." It's nothing like Nazi Germany, and he undermines his point by so exaggerating it — but there's some truth to what he says.
Think I'm wrong? Imagine what Mel Gibson or Vince Vaughn must have felt at the Golden Globes. I couldn't help wondering how the crowd would have reacted if they had spoken out instead of Meryl Streep. While she was given an ovation, they'd have been booed off the stage.
And that worries me. Because nobody should be afraid to speak. Freedom of speech means freedom for all, for our opponents as well as ourselves.
True, there's no rule of law that says speech isn't allowed. But censorship and self-censorship are two sides of the same coin, and once we accept one, the other is sure to follow.
(Of course in the days of the Hollywood Ten, there were a number of prominent writers, ditrectors, etc. who were diehard Communists and praised Stalin. The essay notes, ironically that while conservatives face a menacing atmosphere, Muslims are also uneasy in Hollywood)