In musing about the plight of the English elections and my chagrin at discovering that David Tennant is a…liberal…I might have sounded a little unforgiving towards that viewpoint. In truth, I am not. I can appreciate the sensibilities that might persuade people that a liberal aspect is necessarily the more compassionate or tolerant one.
I don’t personally believe that, nor do I think that history will support it. It’s often a matter of semantics that change the views of history and interpretations of it. What was considered liberal in a totalitarian environment is, in actuality, the counterpart to a conservative movement elsewhere. The so-called right wing fascists of Italy are not the conservatives of modern America. They were brothers in spirit to the Communist regime in the Soviet Union. They competed with each other for supremecy. That’s a matter of history, the socialists and the fascists, and the communists…all of them basically the same. They wanted people’s souls as well as their bodies to be subjected to a government dedicated to terror, genocide and slavery. Totalitarianism is what it is no matter what it is called, where it dwells or who runs it. And, the bottom line on it remains immutable: government subduing the populace. Big Brother is the face of a totalitarian government, and big government is the beginning of oppression. The more it does for you, the more dependent you are on it, the less freedom you have. There isn’t much variation on that one. More government, less freedom. More freedom, less government.
So, hopefully, my point will not be misunderstood. It sounded as though I were picking on a man simply for stating his opinion. I adore Doctor Who, and David Tennant remains a favorite of mine as far as his acting is concerned. His charm is undeniable. However, I would hope that his consideration of things in the political arena will grow to embrace a total picture of the ideologies of both sides. He represents a common perception among the arts community, and it’s a mystery to me why liberal thought permeates the arts, except for the possibility that the idea of being uniquely placed as possessing more knowledge, more empathy and a higher sense of right and wrong is appealing to those nouveau riche.
There is a certain smugness that is evident in how the left presents itself, as though no one else understands the real issues, sees into the hearts of oppressed peoples. The self-congratulatory attitude, the dogged disapproval of those who don’t agree with them…that’s what I mostly see in the “artistic left”. It’s extraordinary to encounter that type of arrogance.
I don’t know how to reconcile the two factions. I find myself between the two quite often, but am less comfortable with the attitude of the left when it exhibits that snarky, contrived posturing that exudes the condescension of a supposed superiority. Ouch! That sounds pretty bad. And it is. It’s insulting for people to assume you don’t care based on your political esthetic.
We aren’t enemies if our goals are the same, and we won’t know a persons heart if we can’t get past our prejudices.