Culture War: The Show Must Go On

One of the late Andrew Breitbart’s most enduring observations is that “politics is downstream from culture.”

In a rare display of ideological agreement, both Right and Left concur with Breitbart. The difference is how the culture war’s two enemy combatants act upon his insight: The Left does and the Right doesn’t.

In cahoots with the corporate leftist media, Hollywood is one of the Left’s key propagandists for getting the public to embrace—or at least acquiesce to—regressive politics. As with their less glamorous comrades inhabiting the Swamp, in the Hollywood swampfest’s puerile realm of callow, status-conscious sociopaths, those who own the gold make the rules.

And the owners of that gold are virulently regressive.

It’s why virtue-signaling Hollywood production companies and “stars” that traipse the globe for “low cost” locations (“It’s not exploitation if it’s for art!”) now condemn pro-life states whose taxpayer-subsidized handouts they once coveted. They are international entities and artists with “sophisticated” global sensibilities who not only don’t need you, but disdain you as “deplorable.” They do need the international audiences to fork over their meager earnings to see Hollywood’s product, so long as that product is sufficiently anti-American or at least ambivalent about it. If not, no worries! Helpful Communist Chinese censors will edit the films into ideological compliance, though this seems increasingly unnecessary given the intellectual and financial convergences between Hollywood and Beijing.

No wonder the regressive cross-fertilization between the Swamp and Hollywood is reaching full flower.

Barack and Michelle Obama have led the way, inking a deal of unknown sums to form their own film production company, “Higher Ground.” As reported in Deadline, the mission of Higher Ground (other than realizing the fabulist Ben Rhodes’ dream of being a screenwriter?) is:

“. . . to harness the power of storytelling,” former President Obama said . . .  “Touching on issues of race and class, democracy and civil rights, and much more, we believe each of these productions won’t just entertain, but will educate, connect, and inspire us all.”

Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos happily chimed in:

President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama and the Higher Ground team are building a company focused on storytelling that exemplifies their core values. The breadth of their initial slate across series, film, documentary and family programming shows their commitment to diverse creators and unique voices that will resonate with our members around the world.

Already, the Obamas’ Higher Ground is producing original content to make us better. Projects include a nonfiction series, “The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy” by Michael Lewis, which promises to highlight the “unheralded work done by everyday heroes guiding our government and safeguarding our nation.” Yes, nothing spells “liberty” like “bureaucracy.” (One wonders if Netflix board member Ambassador Susan Rice will appear in the series, writing CYA “Spygate” emails to herself on her way out of the government door?) Opined Michelle Obama about Higher Ground’s re-educational buffet of regressive offerings, “We can’t wait to see these projects come to life and the conversations they’ll generate.”

Banned in D.C.

Within limits of course. There are still some things Hollywood’s tolerant Stalinists won’t abide. Along the lines of “The Fifth Risk,” filmmakers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney have produced a play about bureaucrats who undo democracy, “FBI Lovebirds: UnderCovers.”

Per Fox News, the play, wherein actors Dean Cain and  Kristy Swanson recite verbatim the texts between former FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI counsel Lisa Page, was supposed to open next month at the Studio Theater in Washington, D.C.

Then, in a clichéd plot twist, the regressive Left defaulted to form, as “violent threats [were] made against the theater and event participants.” Apprised of these speech chilling tactics, the theater, affecting an ominously censorial air, also cryptically claimed they were now aware of “undisclosed details about the event”—perhaps that conservatives might show up and sully their venue?); and consequently informed McAleer the show would not go on.

The indomitable McAleer, who also co-produced the film “Gosnell,” refused to be silenced. Perhaps a tad too optimistically he noted, “I’m confident that there must be some people in D.C. who like the truth.” He also condemned the theater’s capitulation to leftist censorship:

[T]hey are hiding behind ‘safety concerns’ in order to squash diversity of opinions in the theater . . . It’s pathetic. On its website, the Studio Theater claims it “has carved out a distinctive place for itself . . . . By producing plays of big ideas—“plays that challenge assumptions, trigger conversations.” Then the first time someone like myself tries to put on a play that challenges assumptions and triggers conversation they run a mile. The people who run the Studio/Mead Theater are hypocrites and they are cowards, scared of a play that tells the truth and might challenge their cozy bubble.

If a new venue cannot be found, McAleer vowed to “put [the play] on the pavement outside the Studio/Mead Theater.” Doubtless, this would prove a much cooler way to perform the play, as McAleer hoped to film the production and release it online; moreover, as a practical matter, crowdfunding guerilla street theater is about the only avenue remaining for producing any artistic statement that’s remotely on the right.

It is, of course, true, as McAleer averred, “this is censorship of facts that they want to keep hidden from the American people.” Swanson concurred. “I think it’s a story that people need to hear,” she said. But, because the undoing of democracy by Strzok and Page occurred in collaboration with and at the direction of others in the Obama Administration, the Obamas and the regressive Left do not want a “conversation” inspired by “FBI Lovers: UnderCovers.”

A One-Sided Fight

In the culture war’s big picture, the Left is virtually omnipotent: they own nearly all the entertainment gold, so they make the rules; and any creative person who wants some of that gold must toe the regressive party line or be “redlisted” as a recalcitrant fascist.

Consider the Left’s combined firepower of the billions of dollars in messaging capabilities housed in Hollywood and the entire entertainment industry—including the Obamas’ Higher Ground Netflix deal and Hillary and Chelsea Clinton’s nascent production company—to produce, perform, and broadcast regressive agitprop without rebuttal (even if they don’t make money on a particular production, they’re so awash in cash that it’s simply considered a contribution to the cause and itemized away).

Now ponder the fact a crowdfunded conservative play was booted from a Washington theater (which, historically, has not always been kind to Republicans). While you’re at it, be grateful courageous people like McAleer, McElhinney, Cain, and Swanson are carrying the culturally conservative banner against overwhelming odds and to the detriment of their careers.

Now recall Breitbart’s insight that “politics is downstream from culture”; and muse upon why Millennials like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “feel the Bern” for democratic socialism.

Then realize the culture war is over.

Long live the culture war!

For the show must go on—unless you’re conservative.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact

About Thaddeus G. McCotter

The Hon. Thaddeus McCotter is the former chairman of the Republican House Policy Committee, current itinerant guitarist, American Greatness contributor, and Monday co-host of the "John Batchelor Show."

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact

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