For every Kid Rock or Clint Eastwood there are dozens, maybe hundreds, of celebrities voting for President Barack Obama today.
That’s their choice. But is it a wise one for their short-term careers? Sure, an A-list type feels awfully good voting for Obama one last time. They should think the matter through more closely.
Let’s put aside the notion that a President Romney would resurrect the economy, allowing more consumers to buy movie tickets, download songs, etc. That’s a conservative argument against Obama’s policies, and a mighty good one given the proof we’ve seen over the last four years.
Let’s tackle the issue from a creative point of view. Today’s artists lack a juicy, government-approved target, plain and simple.
Consider this: Have we seen any large-scale documentaries holding the government to task for wrongdoing over the past four years? Any instantly iconic protest songs? New blockbuster films featuring big stars telling stories that directly or indirectly relate to malfeasance by the Commander in Chief?
Think of all the topics off the table both now and in the future, like Solyndra, Fast and Furious and Benghazi-Gate.
And it will only get worse. A second Obama term will find the president tacking further to the left, more in line with the Hollywood progressive mindset. Where’s the challenge?
The George W. Bush years, for better or worse, produced the biggest political documentary of all time (“Fahrenheit 9/11”), a gaggle of beard stroking treatises on the War on Terror (“Rendition,” “Lion for Lambs”) even a hit record turned Broadway musical (“American Idiot”).
Put simply, how can modern artists fight “The Man” when they voted to put him back in charge?
The best liberal artists can hope for is to attack Obama from the Left. Consider the upcoming film “Promised Land,” a Matt Damon vehicle assaulting the process of fracking. The folks behind the movie can’t promote it by savaging the Obama administration for its policies on the matter. Team Obama is more sympathetic to their cause than most administrations, frankly. So there goes one powerfully effective marketing tool.
The Obama years also allowed conservative filmmaking to gain a toehold in the industry. The runaway success of “2016: Obama’s America,” along with the emergence of crafty films like “Occupy Unmasked” and “Hating Breitbart,” showed conservatives can both make and support right-of-center political documentaries.
A second Obama term will surely give rise to similarly conservative features – and arguably bigger box office results. Michael Moore might as well put his camera down until 2016.
The Left once argued that radio talker Rush Limbaugh needed a Clinton or an Obama to thrive. Sure, Limbaugh gets more mileage out of a liberal in the White House than, say, Bush. But Limbaugh still has plenty of targets – Hollywood, academia, the mainstream press – no matter the party in charge.
The same can’t be said of Hollywood. Four more years of Obama might make celebrities go all weak at the knees, but it sure limits their creative options to superhero movies, remakes and remakes of superhero movies.