The fight over Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is a microcosm for the insanity taking over American politics. The future felon who destroyed the landmark last week shone a bright light on Hollywood hypocrisy and double standards. The West Hollywood City Council wants the star gone. It sounds ominous until you realize the star is not even in the city’s jurisdiction. Last summer, West Hollywood also called for the impeachment of President TrumpDonald John TrumpKobach agrees to recuse himself from vote counting in Kansas GOP primary NFL players kneel during national anthem before first preseason game Schiff blasts GOP for Russia probe conduct: 'That's how you obstruct an investigation, not how you conduct one' MORE. It is virtue signaling writ large, and further moves the needle in middle America the other way.
Trump’s biggest supposed crime is unlike any of the litany of charges against Hollywood executives and prominent figures. It is being a successful Republican. When Trump hosted fundraisers for Democrats, and the public was already aware of his behavior, he was deserving of a Hollywood star. Now, he is persona non grata. If the argument is that Trump is not a nice person, how much has changed since 2007 that made him acceptable then but unacceptable now? Has any revelation about Trump emerged since then, except for his political affiliation?
ADVERTISEMENT Who is not on the chopping block of stars? Bill Cosby, who was found guilty of sexual assault and accused of harassment by dozens of other women. Kevin Spacey, who faces allegations by 15 accusers, five of whom were teens at the time. Harvey Weinstein, a Democratic fundraiser extraordinaire, who was arrested on charges of rape and more. Oliver Stone, who defended Adolf Hitler in an interview. These are just a handful of the accused people who still have their stars on the Walk of Fame.
Perhaps the glitterati is just upset that he said that only frumpy celebrities backed Hillary Clinton. Perhaps he is just a target that they are not able to demolish no matter how hard they push. Hollywood at large has been silent about its cavalcade of abusers and unpatriotic figures with their names on the famous way. In fact, only Jimmy Kimmel (yes, that Jimmy Kimmel) has pointed out that Trump’s star sits next to Spacey’s star.
Hollywood is infamous for its involvement in politics. Films that no one cares to see, but carry the correct “narrative” of the day, cycle through select theaters. The extremism of Michael Moore, who has praised Karl Marx, is no problem. Hollywood celebrates blacklisted communist writer Dalton Trumbo while taking a few notes from the other side of that part of history. Take your pick of lame Green Day songs, Bruce Springsteen screeds, and anti-war films that peppered the 2000s. Radicalism in support of the cause is no radicalism, to paraphrase Barry Goldwater.
Do not think for a second that Trump is the only conservative public figure who is being gagged for his beliefs. Tim Allen may have lost “Last Man Standing” due to his political views before it was revived by Fox. Roseanne Barr made egregious comments but lost her shield of invulnerability because of her outspoken support of Trump. Curt Schilling may be missing out on the Hall of Fame due to his conservative politics.
Trump is not the first in this wave of creed cleansing, and he will certainly not be the last. Celebrity sycophants and their enablers must consider the ramifications of their efforts to build a second Hollywood blacklist. It is important to remember that purging the memories of prominent figures usually never works. Even worse, it creates a cultural revolution whirlwind that often sweeps up the originators of the initial impulse.
Our solution to partisan disagreements should certainly not be a Stalinesque removal of all memories of political opponents. Such efforts show that the whitewashers are exactly what they accuse the president of being. The radical efforts of “damnatio memoriae” only increase the profile of the censored and showcase the inner tyrants of the left.
Kristin Tate is a libertarian writer and author of “How Do I Tax Thee? A Field Guide to the Great American Rip-Off.” Follow her on Twitter @KristinBTate.