David Mamet, one of the best authors and playwrights of the modern age, stopped by the radio show this morning to talk about his new book and his conversion to conservatism after spending much of his life involved with liberal Hollywood.
What prompted Mamet's switch to conservatism?
"It's like when you hear a word once you've never heard before and you hear it three more times the same day. I began to be aware of the pervasive animus in the West against the State of Israel. And as a serious Jew, I found it profoundly upsetting. And searched for the roots of it and thought a lot of it had to do with secular humanism and the rejection of religion and concomitant with the rejection of religion on the left is the rejection of the notion of the nation state. The two of them go right together. And that the nation state that we on the left are rejecting is unfortunately our nation state, the United States. And the more I looked, the more I saw that the culture was being dismantled in the service of good ideas and that we had seen such behavior before and great success among the Nazis and among the communists."
"The people of my generation - I was born right after World War II - would look back and say to our parents, you know, our dads were all in the Service, how was it allowed to happen. How was it allowed that the Thirties were allowed to breed this filth that led to the devastation of World War II. And we see the answer around us here today. It was allowed to happen little by little," Mamet told Glenn.
"Take us through your journey of going from a guy who was a liberal to where you are now," Glenn said to Mamet.
"Well, I realized I had never actually thought about politics. The view which I grew up was politicians were all corrupt but the Republicans were more corrupt than the Democrats. At least the Democrats were out to do good. And as I got a little bit older and went through - raised a bunch of children and went through a bunch of businesses, I saw that the - nobody liked the liberal policies when it came time to pay the rent, to pay the taxes, to hire and fire employees, to invest for the future, nobody liked them. And everybody acted as a capitalist. And yet half the country voted for the continuation and the inflation of these policies which they knew were destructive. So the question why fascinated me."
Does Mamet think liberal holly wood will wake up?
"No, they're dead asleep," he said. "It's like people said of the Nazis that the Nazis made everyone participate in atrocities because once they participate in atrocities, they couldn't go back. They couldn't change their mind. And the left is not committing atrocities but they are committing absurdities. And it creates the same group cohesion that once you've been sane for 45 years, we need more regulation, we need more government, we need to alleviate poverty by raising taxes. There's too much waste. The Earth is warming, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. You've committed yourself and your life to be able to undo any addiction, whether it's addiction to idiocy, to sex, to pills, to drugs. You've got to take it down to the bare paint and say, oh, my God, what have I done; can I have been that stupid and destructive. Because if you can't do that, you can't go on."
Pick up David Mamet's Secret Knowledge here.