Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Why I Became And Remain A Conservative

by Burt Prelutsky

[Related: A Long Night’s Journey Into Day]

People who know that I was once a Democrat occasionally ask me, depending on their own political beliefs, when I came to my senses or, alternatively, when I lost my marbles. Usually, I give credit to Ronald Reagan for providing a positive role model, and to my ultraliberal colleagues on the Writers Guild Board of Directors, where I served two terms from 1987-1991, for providing me with a laundry list of negatives.

But the other day, I suddenly recalled a phone call I received one morning about 40 years ago. The night before, the first TV script I had ever written had aired. It was for “Dragnet.” When I answered the phone, it was sci-fi writer Harlan Ellison. We weren’t close friends, but we had known each other for a few years and had always gotten along reasonably well. The conversation was brief. I said, “Hello.” He said, “I never knew you were a fascist.” Then he hung up.

Although it didn’t fully register at the time, that was my first inkling of how self-righteous, judgmental and intolerant, I would eventually discover liberals to be. It was enough that I had written a pro-police script for Jack Webb to be branded a fascist. So it now comes as no surprise when those on the left defame their neighbors and erstwhile friends for opposing same-sex marriages and illegal immigration and/or defending the 2nd amendment and Christmas traditions.

As I have admitted on other occasions, I am not a religious man. But even I can plainly see that a great many people who pride themselves for not believing in God have no problem whatsoever believing everything and anything else, ranging from man-made global warming to socialism as a viable political and economic system. That is, so long as they hear it from a member of their secular ministry, some indisputable fount of truth and wisdom such as Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi or Michael Moore.

The irony of this is that while reasonable men can argue till the cows come home about the existence of God because it comes down to a matter of faith, there is empirical evidence that whenever nations have opted for socialism over capitalism, oppression and human misery have inevitably followed.

Speaking of which, nothing has delighted me more in recent weeks than hearing that in the wake of being lionized by America’s homosexuals for starring in “Milk,” Sean Penn was pilloried in the Advocate. The gay magazine condemned Penn for visiting Venezuela and Cuba, and then praising Hugo Chavez and Raul Castro. As everyone but the ditzy Mr. Penn seems to realize, both men are tyrants. What’s more, Fidel Castro was well known for sending Cuban homosexuals to concentration camps, where his brother, Raul, apparently decided whether to execute them or simply work them to death.

It’s always difficult with Sean Penn to tell if he’s evil or merely stupid. Inasmuch as he consistently defended Saddam Hussein, it’s certainly possible that he’s both. He obviously has a sweet spot for dictators and I guess so long as Chavez and Castro continue rolling out the appropriately red carpet for him, he’ll keep showing up and kissing their behinds.

So, while the gays couldn’t muster the votes to defeat Proposition 8, they definitely have enough clout in the Motion Picture Academy to make sure Penn doesn’t win his second Oscar next February.

I honestly wish I could be more optimistic about the future of the human race, but when I look around and see left-wingers gaining more and more influence in America, while Islamics continue terrorizing much of the craven world, it’s hard to spot the silver lining. Sometimes, I wonder if the only chance that decent, sensible people have to survive is if they wind up, along with certain bears, bugs and whales, on a list of endangered species.