by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Rob Long, a rare conservative toiling in Hollywood’s entertainment community, tells TIME readers this week that his liberal friends have been gracious — “the gloating has been unexpectedly muted” — since Barack Obama won re-election. You’ll likely enjoy all of Long’s column, but this reader found particular interest in Long’s description of the reasons for professional Hollywood’s leftward tilt.
Why is Hollywood so resolutely left wing? The big reason, of course, is money. For most Hollywood celebrities and executives, money cascades into their pockets with such torrential velocity that it ceases to have any real meaning. Sort of like the federal government.
But because of the piranha swarm of agents, managers and lawyers–all of whom take a slice of their clients’ salaries–most Hollywood types never see their paycheck, which has the most effective piece of Republican direct mail ever invented, the pay stub, attached to it.
The pay stub enumerates all the little ways the government squeezes you dry, and the initial shock of seeing it laid out like that is the first step a lot of people take on the way to joining the GOP. But if you’re used to having your paycheck sliced and hollowed out anyway by greedy managers and grasping agents, what’s another vig to pay?
It may also have something to do with the archaic concept of hard work, which normally involves lifting or moving or welding heavy objects, or toiling in some airless cubicle in desperate need of money. It does not, unlike in Hollywood, involve yoga, iPads and buying $8,000 shirts. Put it this way: the grips, dolly pushers, camera operators, set builders, film loaders and electricians on any movie set tend to be on the rightward side of the political discussion. The other folks, who tend to sit in their trailers drinking bottles of French water and eating raw food, are usually on the left.