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David Mamet the Conservative?
Tags: politics



Here's the 2500-word article where he comes out as a free-market conservative. (Rolling eyes.)

Why publish such thoughts in such a forum (Village Voice) and with so few words? He should have written a book about his newfound conservatism.

In my personal opinion, the piece is not well-written. Two moments in the piece stick out.

I fain remind the choir, but Mr. Nietzsche was smart enough to create a series of books outlining his ideas on tragedy and comedy. Mr. Mamet does so offhandedly:


The play, while being a laugh a minute, is, when it's at home, a disputation between reason and faith, or perhaps between the conservative (or tragic) view and the liberal (or perfectionist) view. The conservative president in the piece holds that people are each out to make a living, and the best way for government to facilitate that is to stay out of the way, as the inevitable abuses and failures of this system (free-market economics) are less than those of government intervention.

Rule: if you have something to say, don't say it in parentheses. (Didn't you already know that?) Especially when what you are contending is an argument that demands evidence. Note also the "laugh a minute" triteness.

The next unbelievable whopper is Mr. Mamet's encomium for Thomas Sowell:

I began reading not only the economics of Thomas Sowell (our greatest contemporary philosopher) but Milton Friedman, Paul Johnson, and Shelby Steele, and a host of conservative writers, and found that I agreed with them: a free-market understanding of the world meshes more perfectly with my experience than that idealistic vision I called liberalism.
Note the returning parentheses. My encounters with Sowell were in the late 1990s, when I read his syndicated work in the Omaha World-Herald. Expressly do I remember having a refutation of his ideas published as a letter-to-the-editor for that newspaper. He had written faux-eloquently about forcing Christian values on our Nation, to which I pointed out the contradictions and hypocrisies therein, via my nineteen-year-old writing voice.

If Sowell is so great, then why are the only places where his newspaper column are published called TownHall.com, NationalReviewOnline (NRO.com), and his right-wing talking point hack-men at the Universal Press Syndicate?

But I don't mean to treat Sowell as a straw man for Mamet. The problem with his Village Voice article is planning: what thinking person would offer up Sowell as a shining example? "Greatest contemporary philosopher"?!? Is this some sort of wry joke, Mr. Mamet?

This must be some sort of weird personal Dark Night of the Soul for Mamet. The problem here is Mamet praising someone not better than himself (Sowell) and not thinking arguments out as a man of his intellect can and should.

I really don't know what to make of all this. It seems that Mamet's "coming out" as a conservative is more like an announcement of him toning down his liberalism -- moderating his political views.

Big deal. If you're a conservative, then go vote for George W. Bush and praise his long-established failure of leadership, or do not call yourself a conservative.

So, two thumbs down for Mamet here.
No profanes - sacred
 
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