The back-to-back nights of the Golden Globe Awards and College Football Championship reminds us that even entertainment divides Americans — call it Hollywood vs. college football, baseball, and the country music of Muscle Shoals.
Just a month after LGBTQ criticism forced Kevin Hart out as host of the Oscars, Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg announced on the Golden Globe Awards Sunday they were chosen as hosts due to being the only two people left in Hollywood not to offend anyone.
The next night, Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney closed the national championship blowout of Alabama by saying, “You can’t write a Hollywood script like this. Only God can do this. And that’s a fact … only God can orchestrate this. No Hollywood producer can write it.” Last year Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa offered similar Christian testimony after delivering the title.
Many Americans’ political views may be shaped in large part by whether the 4 hours and 46 minutes of TV they watch per day (average according to Nielsen calculations) includes athletes or other entertainers who refer to God or Hollywood actors who do not.
Understanding this, Atheist leaders criticize Swinney claiming anyone with authority tied to any taxpayer funded entity like a university should not be allowed to express any religious faith in public. The counter argument outlined best by Richard John Neuhaus in "The Naked Public Square" is that if those without faith are successful in scaring off all references to faith then they have not created a “neutral” public arena but one that leads citizens to assume there is no God because He is never referenced.
Neuhaus argued effectively, I believe, that at that point democracy itself cannot survive if Christian thought is ostracized and Christians no longer have equal status to talk about how their faith should influence public policy (despite the fact that many legal prohibitions starting with murder and robbery were in the Ten Commandments well before they were logically outlawed in Western Civilization).
In one prominent clash, certainly LGBT advocates point out that they were underrepresented in entertainment in the past, but the reverse is true today. For example, CNN’s exit polling found that only 6 percent of voters identified as either “gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender” but in Hollywood TV, movies, and commercials the ratio is certainly much higher, adding clout to the move to get rid of Kevin Hart for jokes from years back. For years it has been almost impossible to get a script through Hollywood without having LGBTQ signoff that nothing in it is offensive to them, while Christians are continually portrayed as racist, misogynist, and homophobic.
This attempt to hunt down any old tweet or reference to cut people out of the public view may be one of the reasons that, according to The Atlantic, 80 percent believe that “political correctness is a problem in our country.” Even young people are uncomfortable with it, including 74 percent ages 24 to 29, and 79 percent under age 24.
However, in general Americans have segmented into different camps from facts, to entertainment, to political arguments where the only important thing is to never give in. For example, consider that the Democrats are refusing to fund a $4 trillion budget (4,000,000,000,000) to avoid allowing $5 billion (5,000,000,000) toward a wall, which would be the same as refusing to fund a $1 million budget over a $125 budget item.
However, the bigger issue where conservatives can take the lead is in stopping the pay-for-play system that lets both political insiders and foreign interests get big chunks of that budget by getting huge returns on campaign contributions and big checks to family members of officials.
Those of us who were excited by Dave Brat’s stunning upset of the political-industrial complex on the right in 2014 should also be encouraged by the political-industrial complex on the left hit by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
While few conservatives will join Ann Coulter in supporting her 70 percent tax on the rich (because Coulter would like to see the Koch Brothers pay that tax), I believe Christians watching a good baseball game are hurt as much by gambling and legalized drug advocates pouring money into Republican politics as environmentalists are by the irresponsible polluters gaming the system pouring money into Democratic politics.
An end to the pay-for-play system is one that can be supported by everyone who watched last night’s Clemson win, or turns their TV to Major League Baseball and radio to the music of Muscle Shoals, where they've been known to pick a song or two.
John Pudner is Executive Director of Takeback.org, a non-profit home for Americans seeking true political reform. Our conservative solutions include: stopping illicit foreign money from impacting elections; ending pay-to-play in government contracting; and restoring the Reagan-era federal tax credit for small-dollar political contributions, which will encourage more citizens to become donors and help re-balance the campaign finance system. For more of his reports — Click Here Now.