Tuesday, December 21, 2004

How a liberal saw the light

Great column! Burt Prelutsky has an op-ed in the Washington Times about his transformation from liberal to...well, we don't know. He doesn't say he's a conservative. He could be a libertarian. Who knows?

Anyway, he voted Democrat from LBJ in 1964 through Dukakis in 1988. He said two things drove him away from being a liberal once and for all: Robert Mapplethorpe and Bill Clinton.

Who was Mapplethorpe? This excerpt explains (full story here):

Mr. Mapplethorpe, in case you've forgotten, had received a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts over the strong objections of North Carolina's Senator Jesse Helms. The senator argued that the government had no business subsidizing a man who devoted his career to photographing naked children. Naturally, in elite circles, that made Sen. Helms a southern rube who couldn't tell the difference between a pedophile and an artiste.

Yes, liberals defended the NEA subsidizing Mapplethorpe's kiddie porn. Now, we all know that the moral compass of liberals has been demagnetized, but little did we know just how depraved they could be. Defending not only a pedophile, but defending the practice of subsidizing said pedophile's "art" (if you want to call it that). If that's not proof that liberals never spent a public dollar they didn't like, then nothing will.

Anyway, he continues:

When the issue was finally brought up late that evening, I was the only person who spoke out against supporting Mr. Mapplethorpe legally or financially. In the first place, I never thought the federal government had any business supporting the arts. In a country as large as America, I figured if an artist couldn't appeal to a sufficient number of people to earn an honest living, it wasn't a federal subsidy he required, but vocational guidance.

In the second place, I didn't think the WGA (Writer's Guild of America) should be wasting the hard-earned dues of its members supporting some creep who could only have his creative vision satisfied by having an eight year old-child stripped down and posed for his camera.

That night, when I was out-voted 18-1, I realized the enormous gulf that separated me from the liberals in the room. It wasn't simply that we disagreed about Mr. Mapplethorpe. Their very clear message was that there was no real need to consider what I was saying. It was enough that the ACLU was on Mr. Mapplethorpe's side, and a southern conservative was opposed. Like brand-name shoppers, it was enough for them to read the labels. That was really all they needed to know.

After talking about Mapplethorpe, he then states that Clinton (or, as he puts it, "Hillary Rodham Clinton's husband") was the second reason he bolted from the liberal side. Funny that he juxtaposes Clinton with Mapplethorpe. While Clinton diddled young interns, at least unlike Mapplethorpe, they were of legal age. Disgusting, but perfectly legal.