March 15, 2019
I’m not one to gawk at Hollywood actors or other big name celebrities. And, at least when it comes to politics, my usual assumption when I see a big name celebrity is that more likely than not, they’re on the opposite side of the partisan divide.
But something happened last night that changed my perspective.
I was invited to speak to a gathering of what I thought would be a small handful of Hollywood conservatives (an oxymoron to me before last night). This was a mostly secretive group who all share a common belief that unites them — they LOVE America! What’s more they are as concerned as you and me about the far left direction so many of our politicians have recently been heading.
They gather once a month or so, rotating among member’s homes. Mostly they meet to hear local speakers talk about the issues of the day, raise money to support conservative candidates and causes, and tell stories of what it’s like to live in the political closet — or to come out of it, as the case may be.
And that’s why the group is semi-secret. There’s a real cost to these men and women if the Hollywood establishment finds out they live on the conservative side of the left/right divide.
Remember the effort back in the 1940’s and 50’s to “black-list” actors, writers, musicians, and artists suspected of Communist sympathies? It was driven by more than fear of infiltration; it showed a real uncertainty by conservatives that they could hold their own in an open and honest debate of ideas. It was sad, and it unjustly ruined the careers and lives of a lot of great artists.
Well something very similar is happening now, except in reverse. The left-wing liberal establishment in Hollywood is black-listing the conservatives in their industry — and many are threatened with ruined careers that deprive them from practicing their art or even earn a living. The risk in both economic and social costs is potentially devastating — all because they love their country!
But, despite the threats, these conservatives gather. They come from a cross section of America. Last night, there were blacks, Jews, Hispanics, Asians, gays, Christians, and women.
There were actors you would instantly recognize from big screen films or popular TV. There were stunt people, musicians, composers, stage people and support folks. In total, I’m guessing there were more than 70 people crammed into our hosts’ living room.
Especially encouraging to me were the number of young people involved.
And without exception they hungered for any morsel of information they could absorb in their fight against the left.
Like you and me, they were absolutely committed to insuring the socialists who are gaining traction in our society do not succeed.
Beyond any doubt, these people cherish their country, they’re grateful for the opportunity they have to live and thrive in a society where freedom rings clear (at least so far,) and where they can pursue their craft.
But they weren’t the only ones learning. I was able to learn from them as well and see anew the prospect for beauty in music, resonant truth in good storytelling, and power in graphic presentation.
I am so grateful to these folks for inviting me into their inner circle — to share with them tales of my Great Grandfather and brief them on what The Stars and Stripes Forever Super PAC is doing to reach out to minorities across the country with conservative messages. I’m grateful as well for all they had to teach me.
We often talk about the problem of the “Hollywood elite’s” left wing bias, and for good reason. But I was reminded last night that we should never assume everyone in a given group shares the same philosophy any more than they share the same hobbies, intellect, skin color, or religion.
We are currently living through a season of tough, sometimes brutal, political engagement with those who seem committed to tearing down everything we love about America, and who hate the values most of us Americans share — hard work, personal responsibility, individual freedom, and love for neighbor.
Even in the midst of that fight though, we need to remember that no single group of Americans is our enemy. No, every American is a potential ally in the fight to move our country forward to even greater heights of opportunity, freedom, prosperity, and creativity.
I was reminded of that fact last night. The Hollywood crowd I sat with are as dedicated a group of conservatives I’ve ever met. And they’re working at great personal risk to influence an industry that, at least for now, has been captured by the far left.
I could not be more impressed by their courage, their commitment, and their love for country.
John Philip Sousa IV is an entrepreneur, political activist, author and accomplished business person. John has worked in the financial services industry for over 40 years, built a highly successful marketing company, ran for congress at age 24, and in 2016 created and led the successful movement to draft Dr Ben Carson into his candidacy for President of the United States. John is author of John Philip Sousa, A Patriot’s Life in Words and Pictures and Ben Carson, RX for America.