Why are we whispering, indeed?
Andrew Klavan asks this excellent question in today's Washington Post of conservatives in the arts who bow to prevailing leftist assumptions including: "American might is sinister, soldiers are criminalized by war, Christians are intolerant and hypocritical, housewives are desperate, corporations are evil, the environment is in mortal danger from wicked man and, in general, something is terribly wrong with mainstream society that only the wisdom of radical types can cure."
Trying to get at the reasons behind conservative acquiesence to these assumptions, he concludes:
I believe there is a deeper, more troubling reason for conservative reticence. The left has somehow succeeded in convincing the rest of us that there is virtue in a culture of lies, that some truths should not be spoken and that if you speak them you are guilty of racism or sexism or some other kind of bigotry. Right-wingers may disagree philosophically with this sort of political correctness, but I think they may have incorporated some of its twisted values psychologically and walk in fear of seeming "offensive" or "insensitive."
Thus they sign on to a creative mind-set in which the depiction of reality is considered immoral and distortion becomes an act of political virtue. The threat of Islamo-fascism must never be shown without drawing some moral equivalence with the West (see: "The Kingdom" and "Iron Man"). It must never be suggested that men might be better at some tasks on average or that many women might prefer homemaking to business. Sexual promiscuity and illegitimacy are romantic or funny (à la "Juno") and not contributing factors to poverty, depression and suicide rates (à la life). And so on.
Whenever I raise these issues in public, someone says, "Well, Hollywood's all about money. They just make what sells." That sounds like cynical wisdom, but it's only half true. Artists want love, praise and respect, which money represents but which can also be found in reviews, awards and good publicity, almost all of which encourage leftist distortions and teach us to respond to plain speaking with outrage.
Excellent points of departure, all.
Still, I have to wonder if Klavan himself is using the nonsense word "Islamo-fascism" as a concession to the same political correctness he laments in his peers. As a contributor to City Journal, he will surely come across Bruce Thornton's excellent new review of Andrew Bostom's book The Legacy of Islamic Anti-Semitism. The review is called "Islam Without Apologetics." Which strikes me as just another way of saying, Why Are We Whispering?