By Robert Wallace
As long as the only ones demanding the release of Roman Polanski from custody were a bunch of crazy Frenchies, I wrote it off as general European weirdness. I guess child-rape is okay there as long as you’re famous. What do I know?
Then American pseudo-celebrity Whoopi Goldberg offered her seasoned legal opinion that it was rape, but not “rape-rape”, and I chalked that up under the old rule that “there’s always at least one idiot.” But now it turns out there’s a lot more than one idiot — at least 100 filmmakers have signed a petition in which they “demand the immediate release of Roman Polanski.”
Stating they are “astonished” that police would waste their time over a “case of morals,” the petition argues that international film festivals are sacred places where ordinary laws do not apply. Sort of like embassies for visitors from Planet Self-Important. The petition calls for his immediate release and–implicitly–new international law to declare film festivals as No Law Enforcement Zones. So far over 100 “people” (I use the term loosely) have signed this petition, including Martin Scorcese, Woody Allen, David Lynch, Wim Wenders, Pedro Almodovar, Tilda Swinton and Monica Bellucci.
I could spend a long, long time explaining just where I think these despicable individuals can put their concerns about the rights of child predators to “travel without hindrance,” but what’s the point? When you reach a level where you can describe an adult in a position of power getting a child drunk, getting her to take off her clothes, and then raping her repeatedly while she begs to be taken home as a “moral matter,” we’ve reached an extreme of moral relativism where words logic, reason, and common human decency fear to tread.
If we can’t draw the line there, then the human race is done for.
But of course I don’t think the human race is done for because I don’t believe for a second that the even a small minority or ordinary Americans believe the bizarre and evil sentiments in that petition. A bedrock principle of the United States is that justice is blind, and we are all equal before the law.
Liberalism is fundamentally incompatible with the American spirit because it is intrinsically elitist. You simply cannot have government programs that guarantee everyone a place to live, education, a job, and health care unless you also have a government that has the power to heavily influence where people live, what we learn, where we work, and whether or not our disease or injury is going to be treated.
This is an inescapable fact of reality: whatever the government can provide, it must also exercise some control over. And since someone has to run the programs, the end result is inevitably a society where a few elites set the policies that determine how the rest of us live our lives.
I do not believe that most American independents and democrats want a society like that, but as long as masterful orators like Barack Obama get away with framing the debate in terms of things no one can disagree with (like solidarity and compassion, for example), the sinister other side of the coin–elitism–remains hidden. Unfortunately for the progressive cause, the last year has been very unkind to this illusion.
Remember how the US government has decided which companies received bailouts and which ones could fail? A government that can save some companies is automatically a government that can override the market to pick and choose between winners and losers. Think, just perhaps, that TARP and its consequences was an exceptional case? Maybe so, but the results don’t change, and just a short time later we saw evidence of that.
First, Obama bailed out the auto companies (in truth: the auto unions) and then he memorably fired the CEO of General Motors, a private entity. Now that’s what I call picking winners and losers. And so, we had another moment of clarity: the government might be able, in theory at least, to buy stock in a company without nationalizing it, but in practice forget about it. Then came the health care debate and Sarah Palin’s unforgettable “death panel” comment. Was it an exaggeration? Probably, but underneath lay another inconvenient truth. Only in La La Land is there enough for everyone. And that means in the real world we need to find ways of determining how to spend scarce resources.
In the free market, people are able to decide for themselves how they want to spend their scarce resources, but when the government takes over they lose that ability to choose. Just like the government can’t bail out companies without acquiring the power to pick the winners and losers, the government can’t provide health care services without picking–you guessed it–the winners and the losers.
You can try to make a serious case that government power is a necessary evil to save the economy or provide health care to those who can’t afford it, but that’s not what the Democrats are doing. They are trying to pretend that there is no cost in this equation. That you can have government intervention and a free market. That you can have free health care for everyone and at the same time cut costs, all without any rationing of care.
It’s absurd. It’s dishonest. And the only way they have any chance of getting away with it is to keep distracting Americans from the fundamental truth: what the Good Government giveth, the Good Government can taketh away. And that means the political class–those career politicians who demean and insult Americans peacefully protesting how the government spends their money–are the ones who get to decide when to give and when to take away.
All of this means it’s a pretty terrible time for Hollywood–a bastion of lefties so far left they make Dennis Kucinich nervous–to come out and remind everyone of the connection between liberalism and elitism. Sure, they say, he may have raped some kid a few times, but don’t you know he won an Academy Award!! Have you won any academy awards? Then clearly you don’t understand that artists play by different rules. These folks apparently think that international film festivals are as significant as the UN. And since neither one is remotely significant at all, that’s about the only thing I agree with them on.
I’m not saying that, deep down, all liberals are secretly pro-child rape or that you can’t be a liberal without campaigning for freedom for child rapists. I’m not even saying that this obvious Hollywood elitism is the same thing as the political elitism of the American left. What I am saying, however, is that since liberalism does require elitism, and since Americans would never accept that knowingly, the nut jobs in Hollywood–who happen to be liberal–could not have picked a worse time to publicly unveil the extent of their contempt for fundamentals of decency and justice the rest of us live by.
Or, depending on how you look at it, they couldn’t have picked a better time to provide us with the reminder.
Robert Wallace is classical liberal studying economics in graduate school. He and his wife work as business analysis consultants, and they live as undercover conservatives with their two small children in a socialist bastion of a college town. He has been writing for America’s Right since December 2008.