The hypocrisy of “shut up” culture

Hypocrisy isn’t the monopolized venue of one party or ideology. Everyone is a hypocrite at least once in the course of getting on their political soapbox. At some point, even this website will probably experience at least one hypocritical moment.

But certain people, on certain issues, are way more hypocritical than others.

There is, perhaps, no greater example of hypocrisy in modern America than when conservatives tell liberal celebrities to “shut up about politics” one day and openly cheer on conservative celebrities the next day.

Clint Eastwood speaking at the Republican National Convention in 2012. Scott Baio speaking at the Republican National Convention in 2016. Antonio Sabato Jr., who also spoke at the Republican National Convention in 2016 and is now running for Congress. Donald Trump, who was a celebrity long before he decided to become president. (To be fair, Trump was a businessman before becoming a celebrity. But his celebrity status revived the interest the media and others had in his political opinions.) And, of course, there’s Ted Nugent, who bragged about being a draft dodger but still considers himself an expert on which party is strongest on national defense. Conservatives seem always ready and willing to oblige him on it.

But it’s indisputable: conservatives love when celebrities speak up . . . as long as the celebrity in question is anti-liberal. Even some conservative celebrities love to give their own opinions while telling other celebrities that celebrities should shut up. Gene Simmons of Kiss exceeds at this logic-torturing device.

It’s not even confined to issues that are liberal or conservative. A friend of mine posted an article for the new HBO adaption of Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451.” The title of the article was “Michael B. Jordan questions book burning in ‘Fahrenheit 451’ trailer.”

Seems like everyone in America would be fine with anyone questioning book burning, right? But that would be a wrong assumption, apparently. One of my friend’s Facebook friends wrote, “Who the fuck cares about what he questions? Actors are some of the most uneducated and ignorante [his spelling] people around empowered only by the attention we give them.” It’s not even something Jordan actually said. It was the headline of the story.

I don’t know this person’s political beliefs, but just seeing that a celebrity was involved in something vaguely political was enough to get him mad about who should and who shouldn’t be throwing around opinions, even on what should be a non-political issue such as book burning.

There’s nothing wrong with thinking liberal celebrities don’t know what they’re talking about. Everyone is entitled to argue and disagree. Just try not to be intellectually dishonest and say that celebrities should shut up when it’s really only liberal celebrities you don’t want to listen to.