Thank you, Cher, for revealing what Hollywood liberals really think of America. If I interpret your tweet correctly, you are not happy about the prospect of having a white man ("the whitest man in MAGIC UNDERWEAR") in the White House, and you are doubly unhappy at the thought of having a devoutly religious man there who happens to be a Mormon.
That, I suspect, is pretty much what most of the liberal elite are thinking, not just in Hollywood but at the Ivy League universities, the left-leaning think tanks, and the mainstream media. That's what they are thinking, but they usually are more careful to disguise their opinions. That's not to their credit -- at least Cher is being honest about it.
It's not easy to get inside the head of a Hollywood liberal -- the space in there is limited -- but to the extent that it's possible, here goes. "In a presidential race between a white and a black candidate, one must always support the black. It is politically correct to do so. Within the politically correct trinity of race, class, and gender, race always trumps class and gender. That is because blacks were once slaves -- none of those now living, of course, and not Obama's ancestors, but you get the idea."
There is more than the race card at work, though. In the liberal mind, there is also the fantasy of global equality. Back in 2008 Cher paid $1.4 million for her 1,455-square-foot home in West Hollywood. That's not much, I'm sure, for a Hollywood star, but I doubt if any of her neighbors are transit workers. Yet the liberal elite love to sport Che Guevara t-shirts and trot around the earth like Bono in search of photo-ops with the poor and oppressed. It makes them feel good about themselves. It helps them feel superior to the American middle class still clinging to their guns and religion.
Racial justice, equality, and if there's any time left over, gender (which in the present context means LGBT rights, not women's rights). Those are the politically correct causes that are driving support for Obama among the liberal elite. But as Cher's tweet makes clear, it not just what liberals support that explains their political affiliation. It's also what they oppose. And one thing that liberals abhor above all is the profession of religion.
Perhaps this is why President Obama has been so coy about his faith. It is well known that he attended a United Church of Christ congregation in Chicago for a number of years, but he quit that church when its pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, became a political liability. Most Americans now have no idea what church Obama attends, and for good reason. At present, he belongs to none. Not only that, Obama's 2010 tax return indicates that he and Michelle, while they contributed $245,000 to various charities, donated nothing to any church. Not even one dollar in the collection plate.
That, according to liberals, is all to his credit. He contributed generously to women's shelters, food kitchens for the homeless, and black and Latino groups. But there is no mention of a contribution to a religious congregation or institution of any kind. That makes him a champion of the left, unlike the Romneys, who donated a total of $4.1 million over the past two years to their church in addition to nearly $3 million to other charities.
While seemingly an anomaly, Cher's "magic underwear" tweet is really not that far afield. Long before Romney had secured the nomination, the White House declared its intention to "kill Romney," and this by attacking his faith, his business success, and, in effect, his race. "If Romney wins, the middle class loses," a Priorities USA Action super-PAC ad proclaimed. Democrats are not going to let the public forget that Romney is, again in the immortal words of Cher, "uncaring Richy Rich."
For liberals, however, Romney's wealth is just the beginning. There is something really weird about a man as morally upright as Romney is. And there is something weird about anyone who is devoutly religious.
The Obama campaign is not going to engage directly in an attack on Romney's religion, but it will have plenty of surrogates who point out that in its early days the Mormon Church did not seem to encourage diversity. That was the case with Lawrence O'Donnell on "Townhall" back in April and with Bill Maher, who mocked those who "put their faith in things that are unprovable." "I have a problem with all religions," he added. Then Andrea Mitchell jumped into the act by asking her guest, McKay Coppins of Buzz Feed , about the "challenges" Romney's faith would present in the election. Not surprisingly, she uncovered many. Those attacks on Romney's faith, repeated a million times, constitute a crucial aspect of the President's reelection campaign. More than one liberal has predicted that Romney's faith is going to cost him the election.
For liberals, of course, it's not Mormonism that is the problem -- it's "all religions," as Bill Maher was good enough to admit. They hated George W. Bush because he was a devout Christian and because he was wholesome, monogamous, and patriotic. Those are not the sort of values that earn you Emmys in Hollywood. Other than his reputation as a schoolboy prankster, there's nothing appealing about Romney either, as far as liberals are concerned: not one hint of an extramarital affair, none of Obama's "enthusiastic" drug experimentation, no dealings with mobsters like Tony Rezko, Obama's home finance expert in Chicago. They hate this righteous man, Mitt Romney, because they do not believe in righteousness. They believe that there is no God, there are no rules, and there is nothing in life except self-gratification and power. By these criteria, Obama is perfectly normal; Romney is "weird."
That may be enough to explain Cher's tweet. As she said, she doesn't want to "listen to" this righteous man for the next four years. For Hollywood liberals, having to listen a president who is decent, religious, and family-oriented would be like watching The Sound of Music every day of their lives. Not a happy thought for the diva who gave us "gypsies, tramps, and thieves."
Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books and article on American culture including Heartland of the Imagination (2011).