Hollywood luminaries are using their names, faces, and pocketbooks to try and convince voters that Barack Obama is a great president who deserves their support.
A host of Hollywood celebrities are taking center stage right now in a campaign to reelect Barack Obama. A few days ago, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a speech at the Women in the World Summit in New York. She was introduced by Meryl Streep who went overboard praising Clinton and casting aspersions at people who don't buy into their warped perspective. It's part and parcel of the Democrats' strategy, and Streep played her role to perfection; Tom Hanks narrated President Obama's recently released campaign video titled "The Road We've Traveled"; and George Clooney made a taped appearance on Sunday's "Meet the Press" with the show's moderator David Gregory. Among other things, Clooney extolled Obama's virtues.
Streep's outing in New York wasn't a first for her. Almost 25 years ago, she testified before Congress about the use of Alar on fruit crops. It's a harmless substance that farmers use, but Hollywood bigwigs were recruited to scare the public about the "hazards" of eating apples treated with Alar. Streep was selected to lead the attack in testimony before Congress because she was a big-name, A-list movie star. I included a discussion about that incident in my novel Stand! The book is fiction, but it's loaded with facts.
Stand! deals with the corrupt attempt to scare today's public about so-called "man-made global warming." Below is an excerpt from the book that links what's happening now on global warming with what happened in the 1980s on Alar:
"I hope Detective McDaniel can connect Kahn to the crime, but even if he can't, he has everything he needs to put Strom away for a while."
Karen took a sip of her coffee and said, "Several years ago, Meryl Streep testified before Congress about the dangers of Alar. It turned out to be a harmless substance that apple growers used to increase crop yields."
"I remember that. She became a laughingstock as I recall."
"She sure did. When I was in high school, I wrote a term paper on it titled 'Meryl Streep and the Alar Scare.' On one side of the debate you had serious scientists and medical professionals. They were pitted against corrupt environmentalists, a host of Hollywood celebrities, all of them hotshot liberals with names you would recognize, and hack scientists who didn't know which way was up."
Wes chuckled. "You mean just like now."
"Exactly. Dishonest environmentalists, the envirogestapo as you like to call them, and simple-minded Hollywood types tried to create a sense of panic so they could fill their coffers with money. That's all it was, a fundraising bonanza."
"It worked as I recall."
"It did at first. When people finally learned the truth, the Hollywood flunkeys looked like a bunch of idiots, especially Meryl Streep. She was the most vocal one of them all. She had won an Academy Award, and the envirogestapo thought she could sway members of Congress. When the truth got out, they nailed her. I mean they made her look like a stooge, like a trained monkey."
Wes started laughing. "I guess they should learn from experience, but they don't. It was all about money and power then, and it's all about money and power now. Like I said, nothing has changed."
Karen was squirming a little so Wes got up and repositioned the pillow behind her. Then he took the sheet off the rollaway bed, spread it out across her legs, and felt her head to see if she had a fever. When he finished he refilled his coffee cup.
"Al Gore and people like him are good at pulling the wool over people's eyes," Karen said, "and they're attracting a huge following."
"Most people don't think things through for themselves." Wes said. He hesitated for a moment then continued. "The same thing is true for many scientists, even scientists in our school. Many of them would rather go along with a lie than risk telling the truth. As you know from first-hand experience, at times telling the truth can cost you something."
"That's depressing," Karen said. "They like to think of themselves as liberal scholars, but they're just a bunch of intellectually lazy cowards. They're easy prey for the likes of Al Gore and his breed of skunk."
"I don't think they have a clue that a real war is raging. It reminds me of one of the opening scenes in the movie Gladiator. Did you see it?"
"Yes," Karen said. "I liked it a lot."
"At the beginning of the movie, the emperor, Marcus Aurelius, and Maximus, his top general, were on the battlefield. While Maximus was in the field fighting and winning a great victory, Marcus Aurelius' children, Commodus and Lucilla, drove up in a luxurious, horse-drawn carriage. As soon as the carriage stopped, Commodus jumped on his horse and rode to meet his father."
"That was a great scene."
"Commodus asked his father if he had missed the battle. Marcus Aurelius' response was classic. He looked at Commodus with a sad, tired expression and said, 'You missed the war.' Karen, that's what scares me. I'm afraid most people won't wake up until the war is over."
"I liked a scene following that one even more. Commodus was stripped down to his waist practicing sword fighting with his bodyguards. He was play fighting within sight of the battlefield where Maximus was finishing the war."
"What a contrast," Wes said. "A real war rages while people who should know better sit on the sidelines pretending to be engaged. They've been duped, and they don't seem to mind at all."
"It really is a war," Karen said. "I'm glad Abigail presented it that way."
It's still true. A real war is waging. The 2012 presidential election is about whether we will continue a course that's doomed to fail or if we will elect someone besides Barack Obama, get our act together, and solve our nation's problems. You can expect to see and hear from many more Hollywood luminaries who have more dollars than sense. They will use their names, faces, and pocketbooks to try and convince voters that Barack Obama is a great president who deserves their support. They will make their case with slick productions that can persuade an ill-informed electorate. Our job is to present the truth with facts to support our positions. That's not hard to do because the facts are on our side, but we must be at least as determined as Obama's flunkies are if we hope to succeed. If we fail, we will have four more years of Obama. I'm not certain that our nation can survive that outcome.
Neil Snyder is a chaired professor emeritus at the University of Virginia. His blog, SnyderTalk.com, is posted daily.