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Sean Penn's Pool Boy

Commentary by Greg Lewis / NewMediaJournal.US
July 13, 2006

Well, hell, the "issues" just keep coming at us, often so fast (they tend to have half-lives defined by the number of 24-hour news cycles during which they're able able to command headline attention) as to disappear from view before they've been able to be fully deliberated in the media.

Just about the time one such issue, in the current case immigration reform, had begun to be articulated to the point where legitimate political debate about it might have been entertained, well, six more popped up to snatch headline status from it.
But the fact is that "immigration" is not dead, and that interesting political veerings have occurred in the past few weeks with regard to it. Our President seems actually to have begun to see the conservative light with regard to his former stance that any immigration legislation must include a path to citizenship for "established" illegals in this country. Could it be that he's also seen the light with regard to the political clout of the Hispanic community, a majority of whom actually oppose illegal immigration from Mexico?

Hispanic political power, while it is growing, and while swinging a significant percentage of the Hispanic vote to the Republican side might - and I emphasize "might" - tip the balance of a national election in Republicans' favor, the fact is that the political influence of the Hispanic vote might be being somewhat overstated in the national media; that is, the Hispanic influence might be significantly overblown relative to its real clout.

In the 2000 Presidential election, the Republican Presidential candidate captured about 35% of the Hispanic vote. According to the Pew Hispanic Center Report, "Hispanics and the 2004 Election: Population, Electorate and Voters," June 27, 2005, only about 18% of eligible Hispanic voters voted in the 2000 Presidential election. In the following four years, Hispanics accounted for half of the total U.S. population growth, but only one-tenth of the increase in total votes cast in Presidential elections. In other words, the raw number of Hispanic voters increased by just 1.4 million during this time.

Hispanics accounted for 6.0% of all votes cast in the 2004 Presidential election, as compared to 5.5% of all votes cast in the 2000 Presidential election. And regarding an important conservative issue: Hispanics who live in American households where only Spanish is spoken are only 1/3 as likely to vote as are those who live in English-Spanish speaking households. By 2004, Latinos represented about 12.5% of the population of the United States, but only about 5.3 percent of the total votes cast in national elections.

The fact is that the political leverage of the Hispanic community is arguably overblown, in no small part because the mainstream liberal media want to convince Americans that, for instance, it's politically correct to court favor with the Hispanic community in order to further "diversity." The liberal media want to convince Americans, and especially American politicians, that Hispanics command political power far beyond that which they actually wield in no small part to further the leftist political agenda of dual language education, among other leftist "diversity" issues.

Both Democrats and Republicans seem at this time to be waffling on the immigration issue. To this point: Democrats, rather than defending the rights of illegal immigrants, are now wailing that for Republicans to focus on the illegal immigration issue in the upcoming mid-term elections would be tantamount to political suicide for the Republicans, and that Republicans had better not bring up the issue in their campaigns, if they know what's good for them.

In support of the assertion that Republicans had damn well better lay off the immigration issue, Dems are harkening back to the Willie Horton issue in the 1988 Presidential campaign (their candidate lost, in case you hadn't heard) as well as to the "gay marriage" issue in the 2004 campaign (again, an election in which Republicans prevailed), ostensibly to shore up their assertion regarding the inefficacy (that is, the projected lack of "legs") of the illegal immigration issue.
(And here's an interesting sidelight regarding the Willie Horton event: It may well have been Al Gore, running against Michael Dukakis in the Democratic Presidential Primary, who first brought to public attention the case of Willie Horton; Horton was a man convicted of first-degree murder who was freed because then-Massachusetts-Governor Michael Dukakis vetoed a bill that would have made inmates convicted of first-degree murder ineligible for prison furloughs. Bush 41 might simply have chosen to use information brought to light by Al Gore in his Democratic Primary campaign against Dukakis. But that whole can of worms is beyond the scope of this article.)

To get back to the point: In other words, Democrats would have you believe that, because they collectively assert that the "illegal immigration" issue is a non-starter with the American public, therefore, Republicans should shy away from it as a campaign issue.

Dems are warning Republicans off of the immigration issue precisely because, if Republicans campaign on the immigration issue, they're likely to be successful. The Republican (at least the House Republican) take on the immigration issue - that we (the United States) must first address the immediate problem of the flow of illegals into our country and then, after we've stemmed the tide of illegal immigrants, address such issues as "paths to citizenship" for former illegals - is precisely what scares Democrats.

Hell, Dems are not dumb. Well, OK, I retract that last statement. Let me rephrase it: "Hell, Dems are not that dumb." OK, I withdraw the statement altogether.
Dems are pretty damn dumb, and the idea that the opposition party (i.e., the Republicans) would take seriously their advice to lay off a particular issue is way beyond laughable. Uh, let me see, when did Democrats ever, in the history of politics, give advice to Republicans that might benefit their campaigns? I mean, the first thing you do if you're a Republican and a Democrat advises you not to do something because to do it would be "political suicide" . . . in such a case, the first action you take is to do precisely what your Democrat adversary tells you not to do.
If Dems are saying the illegal immigration issue is political suicide for Republicans, you can bet that Republicans should flog the hell out of the issue in their campaigns against Democrats.

I think that the place to start to examine the colors (sorry, in advance) of the left-liberal position regarding the implications of illegal immigration from Mexico (because this is one of their presenting issues, comprende, senor . . . er, y senorita . . . er, y senora?), is with well-known Hollywood actor and political charlatan Sean Penn.

First, Sean Penn was captured on video tape in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina captaining a large rowboat for the ostensible purpose of rescuing people from New Orleans who had been abandoned by their Federal government. So crowded with Penn's "posse" and assorted photographers and publicists and other hangers-on was the actor's Katrina rowboat that there was not a chance in a million he could have done an iota of good for the people whose interests he purported to represent. In other words, Penn's intentions could not possibly have gone beyond showing up the Bush administration's federally-implemented attempts to ease the pain and suffering of the people of New Orleans in the wake of a disaster of unprecedented magnitude.

Let's fast forward to the issue du jour: illegal immigration. While no one is about to deny that the issue of what to do about illegal immigrants' wholesale crossing into the United States across the Mexico-U.S. border has divided Republicans and Democrats alike, the fact is that the American people, liberal or conservative, are pretty much of one mind regarding this issue: they want to stop illegal immigration using whatever means are necessary, and they're not amenable to granting "favored immigrant" status to those who have entered our country outside of legal channels but who have managed to establish themselves as workers in the U.S. economy and as participants in the American largesse that includes sending illegals to American schools and allowing them to take advantage of the American medical and social security systems.

For my money, Sean Penn's (and those of his ilk) primary issue is this: If we crack down on illegal immigration, who the hell is going to take care of my pool? Who's going to do my laundry and clean my mansion and maintain my gardens?
The Socio-Economic structure that has evolved in Hollywood, USA, is precisely that against which Communists, and subsequently Leftists of every stripe, have railed since the advent of a Marxist government in Russia in 1917 and, in the decades following, in other countries which succumbed to communist totalitarianism. Which is another way of saying that the real reason that Hollywood lefties are in favor of unregulated immigration of illegal aliens from Mexico into the United States is that without illegal immigrants there would be no one to maintain their pools, to watch their children, to clean their houses.

Liberals' support of legalizing illegal immigrants has nothing to do with their professed Marxist/socialist egalitarian values; rather it has to do with the practical realities of everyday life among the Hollywood elite. No illegal immigrants? No pool boys.

I can think of no era in the recent history of our planet in which an economic elite - in this case the Hollywood haute-bourgeoisie - has so effectively pulled the wool over the eyes of a country's people (in this case the American people) and in the bargain managed to convince those people that they (the Hollywood leftist elite) actually are looking out for the interests of illegal immigrants.

The irony here is that Sean Penn is an unapologetic, albeit stupid and uninformed, leftist, someone who, one would think based on the vacuous utterances that issue from his pie-hole, stands for the implementation of an egalitarian society, a society in which all citizens share in the work of maintaining the society and in which no single citizen gains benefits because he has "special" talents.

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" is I think how Karl Marx expressed the principle that would govern a truly Marxist, communist society; that is, a society to which Sean Penn would ostensibly pay obeisance.
Wherein lies the rub. No one has yet been able to trace the leftist politics of so many of Hollywood's elite to their roots, but let me give it a try here. Let me try to answer the question, "What makes so many of Hollywood's elite stand politically against precisely the very political/economic system that has enabled them to realize success beyond the wildest dreams of about 5.9995 billion of our planet's 6 billion or so inhabitants? How is it that Sean Penn (and Susan Sarandon and Whoopi Goldberg and Jeanine Garofolo and hundreds more of their ilk) . . . how is it that these people are simply not smart enough to see the contradiction between their lives, between the ideo-economy that is Hollywood and which enables them to command princely sums and amass the contemporary equivalent of royal fortunes for being able to connect emotionally with viewers on screen and to have been fortunate enough to have been or to have managed to be in the right place at the right time . . . . how is it that these people have somehow disingenuously transferred the influence their talent confers into the arena of public discourse?"

The bottom line is something like this: The real reason Sean Penn is worried that the flow of illegal immigrants might be stanched is that he'll lose access to the cadre of day-laborers available to clean and maintain his swimming pool! Further, his costs for maintaining his gardens and for cleaning his house and cooking his food stand to skyrocket if any meaningful immigration reform bill passes. (Read, any immigration reform bill that focuses on stemming the flow of illegals into this country first, and which then deals with managing those who are already here.)
I can't imagine a micro-economic system that is any more aggressively capitalistic, that takes any fuller advantage of the favor afforded entrepreneurial risk-takers, than that of the Hollywood film industry. While so much of the public political face of the Hollywood film industry puts forth a leftist, I'm-for-the-little-guy persona, in fact nothing could be further from the truth.

Hollywood - and the Left in general - loses its advantage when the American public begins to realize that the film industry's "populism" is nothing more than a shuck designed to pull the wool over America's eyes, a stratagem designed to help them maintain precisely the very type of economic hold over the "workers" who provide sevices to them that Marx would have deplored. Far from standing for egalitarianism in any meaningful way, the Hollywood elite come out in favor of the status quo, a system in which a group of laborers is, in effect, enslaved.

I'm not asserting that there's something even remotely resembling a "conspiracy" by the Hollywood Elite to make movies that denigrate a conservative, middle-class agenda. Far from it. My sense is that Hollywood would like nothing more than to be able to capture this enormous (and increasingly alienated) audience bloc by marketing to it films that represent its values, that speak to it.

And this is, perhaps, precisely the point. In Hollywood, as it is with the Democrat Party and with leftists in general, it's never about listening to the people; rather, it's about imposing on the people a political agenda that they "ought" to accept. The Left is about shoving down the throats of our country's citizens an agenda inimical to the American way of life, which is a way of life that embraces capitalistic free enterprise and Christian values and the rights of all people who share these values to express themselves and to advance the interests of themselves and their families through partaking in a truly free and democratic society. To the extent to which we grant the Left sway regarding these issues is the extent to which we abnegate our birthright as Americans, our furtherance of truly Christian and Capitalistic principles.


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