The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Enemy of the State

Sometimes it's difficult to resist the breathtaking hypocrisy of Hollywood's social justice warriors—in this case exemplified by actor Sean Penn. After Donald Trump privately referred to a number of countries as "sh**holes," Sean Penn wrote an op-ed for Time:
... We will find unity, only when we recognize that in our current president we have elected, perhaps for the first time in our history, an enemy of compassion. Indeed, we can be unified not only with each other but with Africa, El Salvador, Haiti, Mexico, the Middle East and beyond if we recognize President Donald Trump is an enemy of Americans, Republicans, Democrats, Independents and every new child born. An enemy of mankind. He is indeed an enemy of the state.
Certainly, Trump's choice of words was crass, and certainly, there are many good and decent immigrants who have those countries as their national origin (in fact, many reside in ethnically diverse South Florida), but the countries that were the targets of Trump's name-calling are broken—badly broken. There must be limits to how many immigrants from those countries, as well as all others, we allow to enter the United States on an annual basis. Trump's opponents don't like to talk about limits, implying instead, that open immigration is preferable and that entry criteria (you know, just like entry critieria used by those bastions of "racism," Australia and Canada, among dozens of others) are somehow "against our values."

But back to Sean Penn. Penn is a good actor, but that doesn't qualify him as a good judge of character or an astute analyst of international politics. Michael Qacvini writes about other international figures who Penn feels more comfortable with:
... Sean Penn has long had a soft spot for Latin American thugs. From notorious drug kingpin El Chapo to Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, the list of tyrannical figures inscribed in Penn’s diary of love really makes one question whether the mediocre actor has suffered a frontal lobe injury that would impair his ability to engage in moral reasoning. Nowhere is Penn’s moral deficiency more apparent than in his friendship with the late Hugo Chavez.

Penn first met the oppressive maniac in 2007 during a trip to Caracas. Following his meet-and-greet, Penn gushed about his encounter with the man he called a “fascinating figure” ...

Since [a David letterman] interview [in 2009], Penn has called for journalists who criticize the Venezuelan dictator to be jailed.

"Every day, this elected leader is called a dictator here, and we just accept it, and accept it. And this is mainstream media,” he said in 2010. “There should be a bar by which one goes to prison for these kinds of lies."

In turn, Chavez praised his “friend” for his pursuit of “truth.”

"I was reading the declarations from our friend Sean Penn, the famous American actor," Chavez said during a televised rally years ago. "Penn defended what he considers to be the truth."

When Chavez finally kicked the bucket in 2013, Penn mourned as though he had just lost the mother of his children.

"Today the people of the United States lost a friend it never knew it had. And poor people around the world lost a champion," he lamented. "I lost a friend I was blessed to have. My thoughts are with the family of President Chávez and the people of Venezuela. … Venezuela and its revolution will endure under the proven leadership of vice president [Nicolas] Maduro."
So ... let's see if we can sort this out:

Hugo Chavez and his mini-me, Nicholas Maduro, instituted actual socialist policies that caused Venezuela's economy to collapse with resulting food shortages, a health emergency, hyper-inflation, human suffering, human rights abuses, and the forced emigration of hundreds of thousands. They didn't talk about doing these things, they did them! As a consequnce, their people continue to suffer greatly. Yet according to Sean Penn, Chavez and Madura are "fascinating," "friends," and "champions" of the people."

Donald Trump did (allegedly) label some countries as "sh**holes." Unfortunate and ill-chosen language, no doubt, but nothing more. Trump did nothing to cause those countries to fail. In fact, as President, he continues the massive aid that we, the citizens of the United States, provide for some of them. But according to Sean Penn, Trump is "An enemy of mankind. He is indeed an enemy of the state."

Given this, it's only reasonable to conclude that Sean Penn would be far better served if he continues in a profession where he makes believe he's another person speaking the words of that person using language written by still another person. Because when actor Sean Penn plays himself and projects his own thoughts through his own language, he demonstrates conclusively that he is a fool.