In a cover story by David A. French -- who for a week was Bill Kristol's official Third Party candidate -- the magazine pushes forward the political ambitions of Dwayne Johnson, an action actor known as The Rock.
From National Review:
As polarization brings with it the politicization of everything, celebrities are expected to toe their respective political lines. The GOP has a celebrity in the White House, he brings in celebrity friends for photo ops, and, outside the White House gates, progressive celebrities spew vitriol at their hated former entertainment-industry colleague.
The Rock, however, has followed a different path. Rather than self-seriously viewing his career as secondary to his activism, Johnson clearly aims to entertain. He understands a core truth: that there is nothing wrong — and a lot right — with sheer, unmitigated fun. Not everything has to have a Message. Not everything needs to reveal Larger Truth. Sometimes a man has to shoot down an attack helicopter with a minigun. Not for social justice and not for individual liberty — but because it’s a cool thing to do.
At the same time, Johnson is keenly aware that he’s come a long way. He’s an unabashed patriot, and his Facebook and Instagram feeds are full of expressions of gratitude to his country and his fans. He constantly reminds fans that he was once broke and struggling. He blesses his family with the fruits of his labor. And in his own turn, he seems to positively delight in bringing joy to others. His Instagram feed is full of small incidents demonstrating his love for “the people,” even the smallest admirers of The Rock. If young girls hold up a sign on his route to work, asking him to stop for a picture, he stops for a picture. If a two-year-old asks him to play patty-cake while he’s on the set of Hercules, he plays patty-cake. And when it comes to veterans, he’s extravagant with his praise and his time.
Part of the legend of The Rock is this May 1, 2011, tweet: “Just got word that will shock the world — Land of the free . . . home of the brave DAMN PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN!” He tweeted this at 10:24 p.m. It was not for another 45 minutes that major networks began reporting Osama bin Laden’s death, and it was 11:35 p.m. that night when Barack Obama formally announced the successful raid. How did The Rock know in advance? He had a cousin in the SEALs, but he won’t confirm his source.Inside joke?
Half-assed attempt to satirize President Trump?
No, this is a lame attempt to regain the respect and relevance the magazine's management threw away last year by standing athwart history whinging clown. The magazine was willing to let Hillary be president -- giving the court to Democrats for the next 40 years -- just to spite the conservative majority in America that eventually backed President Trump.
The ideological charade was over. We saw the donor-craven establishment in Washington up close and personal, and had to turn away. They sold their souls for NAFTA. Nationalism is evil -- unless it is to "support the troops" in a war. The very human consequences of NAFTA are of no concern of National Review nor most of its staff and contributors.
In an article last March, the magazine called him the Fuhrer and implied that his supporters are opioid-addicted racists too stupid to find jobs in the big city like they did.
“If you spend time in hardscrabble, white upstate New York, or eastern Kentucky, or my own native West Texas, and you take an honest look at the welfare dependency, the drug and alcohol addiction, the family anarchy — which is to say, the whelping of human children with all the respect and wisdom of a stray dog — you will come to an awful realization. It wasn’t Beijing. It wasn’t even Washington, as bad as Washington can be. It wasn’t immigrants from Mexico, excessive and problematic as our current immigration levels are. It wasn’t any of that.”Imagine saying that about black people or brown people anywhere in America. The piece got worse:
“The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin. What they need isn’t analgesics, literal or political. They need real opportunity, which means that they need real change, which means that they need U-Haul. If you want to live, get out of Garbutt, New York.”The piece reflected the globalist attitude of donors to National Review and the think tanks that fed it writers.
But the people rebelled and no longer allow a small set of elitists in Washington define conservatism. Just as William F. Buckley Jr. jettisoned the John Birch Society and Ayn Rand (the first was too religious, the later not religious at all; both were rivals) the conservatives in America have jettisoned National Review.
With Trump as president, National Review has no access to offer donors, and no influence on policy. Heritage Foundation and others do a better job. While National Review was rooting for Hillary, Heritage gave Trump a list of 21 judges and state justices to consider for the high court.
So down this bunny trail of the Rock goes the publication.
I would say the Rock deserves better, but then I made the mistake of watching his movies. That's meant as a joke. He's actually quite good with just enough self-depreciation to endear him to critics. And if he seeks a career in politics, well, we have done worse. Evan McMullin, for instance.
The trouble with publications is journalists never admit mistakes.
It would be nice to have an influential Washington-based conservative magazine.
But how can you trust someone who was willing to throw the Supreme Court away just to get its way within the Republican Party?
So we are left with this sideshow.
The original, "Trump the Press" chronicled and mocked how the media missed Trump's nomination.
It is available on Kindle, and in paperback.
Then came "Trump the Establishment," covering the election, which again the media missed.
It is available on Kindle, and in paperback.
Autographed copies of both books are available by writing me at DonSurber@GMail.com
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