Richard Dreyfuss helps demonstrate that there are few movements more intellectually vacant, morally corrupt, or stunningly unaware of themselves than the post-modern Left. This is the residue of the lofty, and arrogant, ideals of the post-war liberal movement. Now, I am second to none in my admiration for Richard Dreyfuss as an actor. I grew up being touched by some of the movies he made, key films that shaped the era in which I matured. From American Graffiti and Jaws, to Close Encounters of the Third Kind, I was awestruck by his command of acting, even before I understood what it took to be an actor. Later, in Down and Out in Beverly Hills, What About Bob, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, I rediscovered him and why I always admired him.
Later, as he became more of an activist, I listened to what he had to say. Obviously he was schooled in his passion for history, particularly American History. And the willingness to invest some sweat and blood in a subject always garners a certain level of admiration - even if I strongly disagree with the methods or conclusions. But in recent years, I've noticed him saying some pretty, well, strange things. Even stupid ones. Ones that I get the feeling are more demonstrative of the failings of post-modern Leftist ideologies than many might care to admit.
So in the wake of the Tuscon Shootings that had nothing to do with politics or political rhetoric, we are still discussing the need to tone down our political rhetoric. Many - especially on the Left - have made it clear who is to blame. Those on the Right have obviously launched counter attacks to defend themselves. In the midst of this, at The National Press Club, Mr. Dreyfuss is asked if the statements by individuals on the Left could sink to the same deplorable level of hateful violent rhetoric, by being given the example of Ed Schultz's wish for the death of Dick Cheney. Schultz's statement is at the end of the video:
Essentially, Mr. Dreyfuss says, "Sure, no problem. It was beautifully phrased." Well, if you listen to Schultz's statement at the end, you'll notice there was nothing beautiful about it. In a manner that makes Rush Limbaugh sound tame, he expressed his hatred for Cheney, his loathing for Cheney, then capped it off by saying 'Lord take him to the promised land...I don't care if he goes to hell, just get him the hell out of here.' OK, for the record, I've never heard Rush Limbaugh wish death on anyone. Maybe he has. But I've not heard it. So what about this isn't hateful, violent rhetoric? That it was couched in 'flowery speech'? That's not very flowery, if you ask me. So what is it?
To me, it is indicative of the problems with the Post-Modern Left. Essentially, the Post-Modern Left has become a shadowy reflection of all that liberals once said they hated about the old conservative status-quo. There just seems to be a lack of ability to see it. Perhaps it's his age. After all, Mr Dreyfuss is no spring chicken. And maybe that's why many Boomer liberals are so blind to the rage, hatred, violence, and death that surrounds the emergent Left.
My guess is, however, that the reason so many on the Left continue to spiral into a mockery of what they once condemned is that the Post-Modern Left has no accountability. With our educational institutions, entertainment institutions, and media institutions almost all aligned along the same ideological side of the field, there is no real taking to task of one another for such things. Heck, I heard about what Schultz said one night on Fox when it covered Mr. Dreyfuss's answer. I hadn't even heard of it before. No other networks covered it. There was no outcry. Not like when Rush Limbaugh mocked Michael J. Fox. Or when Rush Limbaugh played a mock-up song of Barack the Magic Negro, or that he wished President Obama would fail. Or when Bill O'Reilly said that Muslims were to blame for 9/11. When those things were said, I heard about it on most stations. I heard discussions, debates, and condemnations across the board. And I heard about it for days. If not weeks. Yet I didn't hear one time on any network (perhaps it was mentioned, but could only have been mentioned once or twice), about Mr. Schultz's scree on Cheney.
That's the point. There is no accountability. And therefore, through intellectual laziness and ethical foppishness, those on the Left are becoming the very things they once said they hated the most about America's old status-quo: arrogance, self-righteousness, judgementalism, meanness, hatefulness, intolerance, closed-mindedness, and basic group think. And while age may have something to do with it, with the younger generations simply pushing the envelope as younger generations do, I can't help but think that this compound mentality that the Left has established, by essentially marginalizing or ostracizing any who fail to conform to the dogmas of the Left, has led to such jaw dropping examples of complete idiocy and lack of self awareness that Richard Dreyfuss just displayed, and that Ed Schultz continues to make a career of.
Again none of this is personal. I don't know Ed Schultz and, based on what I've seen, have no desire to know him. I don't personally know Mr. Dreyfuss, but I've always been a fan. And as a former liberal who didn't leave liberalism as much as I realized liberalism had never truly existed, it pains me to see such a man, who no doubt cares and is passionate about some important things, decay into the very things liberals once so clearly saw and condemned. Truly, when looking from one to another, it is increasingly difficult to tell the pigs from the men.