Kathryn Lopez

Even though 2008 has long seemed like a done deal in terms of who's in the running for presidential nominations, there's a growing buzz about two Tinseltown candidates: Fred Thompson and Al Gore. Gore's already had a shot with the Democratic party, and Thompson, who has been raising money for Scooter Libby's defense fund, is being urged by some to enter the race.

Appearing on "Fox News Sunday" recently, Thompson, a co-star on NBC's "Law & Order," said he is "going to leave the door open" and even engaged in a "lightening round" litany of hot-button political questioning from host Chris Wallace.

Would Thompson and/or Gore run? If I were Fred Thompson, unless I had a real sense that the United States needed me and no one else as commander in chief, I'd be happy with a life dealing with fictional problems and getting paid well for it.

If I were Al Gore, I might still think an election was stolen from me (no doubt he's been told this before, as he was during the Oscars by host Ellen DeGeneres) and take an opportunity to enter the Oval Office, even with an overwhelmingly popular Obama and a Clinton in the field.

But let's say they both succumb to being desired and run. How are they liberators? They'll end the left-wing political monopoly in Hollywood.

A few years ago, Ned Rice, who currently writes for the Fox News Channel's "Half Hour News Hour," a news parody show, wrote a piece for me about the "Friends of Ronnie." FOR is the unorganized secret society of conservative types in Hollywood.

Rice joked that closeted Hollywood Republicans could, like AA members who refer to themselves as "Friends of Bill W.," call themselves "Friends of Ronnie" in honor of Ronald Reagan. He wrote: "Imagine the wasted time and bad bean dip we could spare ourselves with a simple 'Friend of Ronnie?' in place of the usual 45-minute dance around the buffet table trying to work 'Milton Friedman' or 'trust, but verify' into a remark about the weather. Not to mention the countless looks of horror from those who take our political beliefs to be not simply misguided, but actual evidence that we're evil. You know, the tolerant crowd."

Conservatives may not be the loudest and the most prevalent voices in Hollywood, but they're there. They're often just doing their jobs and not bothering with dabbling in politics (the latter, which is not their jobs). They're sometimes keeping their verboten views secret lest their lefty bosses be horrified. Conservatives are producers, writers and actors. And sometimes they even make conservative movies, get in a conservative storyline or just one line (potentially having more of an impact on the culture than every opinion piece every written combined).

A Gore and a Thompson both in the running would end the ridiculous conventional wisdom that only liberals can live and thrive in Hollywood. It might mean a whole new world for young right-wingers in Hollywood and unleash conservatives Joel Surnow ("24") and David Zucker ("Airplane!") to lead a conservative revolution. No longer would Alec Baldwin's left-wing rants be the loudest opinion in Hollywood. And when both sides are represented, if C-SPAN ratings are any indication, people will soon tire of "Crossfire" Hollywood and get back to making movies.


Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.
 


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