Salvo 10.19.2022 5 minutes

Let’s Not Bother

Celebrity Sightings – Paris Fashion Week – Womenswear Spring/Summer 2023 – Day Seven

Celebrity culture is a game conservatives can safely avoid.

Who could have guessed that an attempt to present a celebrity as a thoughtful, rational individual and a champion of good causes could end in a disaster?  

Candace Owens recently teamed up with the dubious Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye. You know, the rapper most famous for cohabitating with a reality star. Ye, the man who wore a White Lives Matter shirt in a publicity stunt, followed by his tweet promising to “go death con 3 ON JEWISH PEOPLE,” which got him suspended from the social network. Next, he went on a bizarre tirade about his ex-wife’s boyfriend, blaming “Jewish zionists” for forcing “[a] Christian woman that has four black children” to discuss her sex life in public. As if that’s not what she does professionally. 

I was beginning to feel sorry for Kim Kardashian, but then I remembered that, more than anyone else on this planet, she bears the responsibility for saddling Los Angeles with a Soros-backed district attorney. The botoxed harlot aggressively campaigned for the current DA George Gascón, convincing low-information voters to pull the lever for him, which predictably resulted in a massive crime wave in the City of the Angels. 

In politics, the benefits of having celebrities on your side are undeniable—but so are the drawbacks. As Charles Bukowski put it, “take a writer away from his typewriter and all you have left is the sickness which started him typing in the beginning.” Bukowski should know: most artists are like him, unstable, immoral misfits. 

That West is mentally ill is a well-known fact. I found his recent interview with Tucker Carlson hard to stomach—I saw a man just barely holding on to reality. I’m glad he’s pro-life, but however laudable some of his views are, appointing the rapper as a spokesperson for the cause only makes it easy to write it off entirely, on account of his manifest insanity. 

A smart thing to do after his Twitter outburst would have been to say that the words were ugly, but the man’s paranoid delusions are between him and his psychiatrist. No cringe bridge-building or giving further attention to his persona. That didn’t happen, of course. As a follow-up, West spewed more hate, and what do you know, people are now remembering that he’s an admirer of Hitler.  

The root cause of the Ye fiasco is the pathetic conservative obsession with cultivating and platforming right-of-center celebrities. Sure, the internet lists of openly conservative stars (most of them B-listers at best) are good clickbait. Yet every time somebody trots out another openly conservative artist, what most people see is a minor celebrity whom popular culture left behind (cf. Ted Nugent, Scott Baio, Kirk Cameron, etc.), and what they hear is “all the popular stars are very liberal.” If there’s a need to point out that some stars are conservative, that’s because most aren’t.  

This is not to say that there are no right-of-center artists whose views can’t be written off as diseased ramblings. Gina Carano comes across as a down-to-earth, smart person. David Mamet is one of America’s best playwrights, at once daring and cerebral. Clint Eastwood is a legendary film director and arguably the last representative of the golden age of Hollywood. But those are exceptions, not the rule. And they should be championed as such: “Look, we may not have a lot of celebs, but we got the good ones.” There’s no need to recruit maniacs to fill the numbers of conservative glamorati, even if said maniacs, like Ye and his ex, rule the tabloids.  

Using artists for political purposes has worked well for the Left. But that’s because the Left is on a very different mission: since the 1960s they have been advocating a radical revision of social norms according to the Age of Aquarius mythology. Their goals remain fundamentally irrational—to get beyond Western Civilization and base our culture around feeling and intuition. I’m not against the whimsical and the atmospheric, but if conservatives want to restore ordered liberty, we need a different approach. 

Conservatives need to stop being suckers for celebrities. Hollywood doesn’t love you, move on. Find a way to achieve your objectives without it.  

The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.

The American Mind is a publication of the Claremont Institute, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to restoring the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life. Interested in supporting our work? Gifts to the Claremont Institute are tax-deductible.

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