Don’t tell me there’s no hope at all!
Together we stand, divided we fall.”-Roger Waters, Hey You
“There is among you the man who is not bound by party lines. You vote according to your common sense and your calm judgement after hearing each party set forth its program. To you I say that the strength of this independent thought is the great contribution of the American political system.”-Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States of America
For more than fifteen years, since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, we were told by Republicans to fear Muslim terrorists lurking in every corner. Then for the first three years of Trump, we were told to fear illegal Mexicans hidden in our communities. For almost twenty years, the Far-Right has been fear-mongering people of foreign ethnicity and demonizing people of color, cutting immigration at the knees – keeping us in a constant state of fear and having us applaud their efforts to keep us safe. Effectively taking away some aspects of our rights in the process, but delivering some of the safest land in the world… right?
At least that’s what they told us…
However, in the past year, as coronavirus rages on, I can’t help but notice, that the focus of Muslims and Illegal Mexicans has changed. For some reason, we’re not being told to fear these so-called terrorists anymore. One could then come to reason that the closing of our borders and tighter restrictions on immigration diffused the danger, that coronavirus in some way aided in the resolution of almost two decades of living in peril. We could then reason that there might be cause for celebration in this weird and confusing time of rapture. That the coronavirus itself seemed to be a united enemy, and our foreign threats stifled as a result.
However, that’s not what’s happened. Instead of applauding the great efforts to keep us safe and cheering coronavirus for staving off certain death at the hands of religious or drug-fueled extremists, (despite the virus killing more Americans than any terrorist could dream of) Republicans have shifted their focus on a new enemy, one that scares me more than Muslim Terrorists and Mexican Cartel gangs combined… now the focus is on Democrats, and I’ve never feared my safety more than I do now. Because it’s not just Democrats they’ve demonized, but Hollywood Democrats more specifically… and that includes me. That makes me the source of the threat, and I’ve never in my life as an American who loves his freedom of choice – my freedom of expression, felt more of a need to silence my voice and act without confidence in my opinions as I do right now.
I can tell you, with over thirteen years of experience being “behind the scenes,” in personal and professional conversation with A-list cast and crew, in both Hollywood and abroad, that I have witnessed zero evidence of an occult of pedophile Satan worshippers running the global entertainment industry. We make movies, that’s it, and most of us are blue-collar, middle-class laborers who’ve spent years of hard work and sacrifice building careers that exemplify our vision of the American dream, which is to make films out of fiction. I am an American writer, who loves the voice America gives me. A diligent, union laborer who believes in earning a fair wage for equal compensation. A tax-paying, middle-class, Jewish-blooded American who loves my life, who loves my country and my vision of the American dream. A free human being… who’s never felt the need to hide my thoughts so much as today – from people who claim to be my fellow Patriots. (Despite them flying the Confederate battle flag) From people who wish me ill for being a Hollywood Democrat… now I finally understand Martin Neimoeller’s quote about Nazi Germany – they have finally come for me.
It’s time to get the money out of politics. We need term limits and salary caps – bring it back to public service. As long as the two warring tribes continue this path, we will never know peace in this country. We will never be the “United” States. As long as money and power dictate the process, we will only be led by those who are addicted to both. We need more civic leaders, not more power-hungry lawyers. We need to be the United States, and we need to remember, that what makes us great, is our right to have differing voices. We all want the same thing. We all want our vision of the American dream. If we refuse to listen to each other, this pain will go on. We will never be the United States if we allow these power-hungry politicians to divide us and make us their soldiers. We are Americans, and I believe we can be better than that. Only enemies of freedom silence the voices of the free with fear and terrorism. I am not your enemy, and you are not mine, lest you attempt to silence my voice with fear. That goes for both sides of the political spectrum. I refuse to be silent, and I refuse to live in fear.
Thank you for coming to my TED talk.