For at least a year now, I’ve been telling everyone who will listen that being right-wing is the new counterculture, the new punk, an act of rebellion in an era of political correctness, safe spaces, multiculturalism and globalism. Joy Villa’s surge to fame after shocking the Grammys with a pro-Trump dress has proven me right again.
Villa’s politics don’t seem particularly radical or dangerous — certainly nothing on the level of, say anarchist punk rockers. “For me, I voted for Trump, and a lot of my friends did as well,” says Villa. And we felt like we had to be closeted, we had to be quiet about it, or we would face a backlash, and bullying.”
“I just got tired of the narrative of hate — you’re a racist, you’re a bigot, you’re this, you’re that, people losing jobs all because they voted for a now-elected President. [With] this dress, I was hoping to make a statement, some small little statement about unity, togetherness, and supporting our President as one unified country.”
Like me, all Villa wants is more room for free speech, free thought, and political tolerance. With views like that, it’s only a matter of time before the left start calling her a Nazi. And therein lies the source of her success: a mild call for more freedom and tolerance is, in an age of stultifying censorship from the progressive left, considered shocking and unusual.
The reason punk rock shocked the world is because no-one else dared say what they said, or dress like they dressed. The dyed mohawks, pierced faces and studded, thuggish leather jackets were profoundly unsettling to a society that still balked at long hair and flared jeans. I still balk at long hair and flared jeans of course, but only because it looks atrocious.
Compare that cultural climate to today’s. Are dyed hair and piercings offensive? Leather jackets? Anti-imperialism? Feminism?
No, of course not. Everyone from state governments to Goldman Sachs panders to feminist orthodoxy these days. Ask yourself what would cause more outrage today: a CEO saying they are a feminist, or a CEO saying they aren’t?
Lady Gaga caused rumbles of discontent at the Super Bowl for failing to deliver a widely expected anti-Trump statement. Leftists have become so accustomed to celebrity pandering to them that even avoiding politics altogether is seen by some as an act of betrayal.
Once you understand that, Joy Villa’s success is easy to understand. She could have played it safe, following the example of Meryl Streep, J.K Rowling and other anti-Trump celebrities, and remain unnoticed. What she did instead was remain true to her values, and as a result commanded the attention of the world last Sunday. Like the punk rockers, she dared to do what no-one else would, and reaped the benefits.
Celebrities today act edgy, but restrict themselves to utterly safe belief systems. There can be no better example of this than Madonna’s speech at the Women’s March, where she casually suggested someone bomb the White House. Outrageous, yes, but also an entirely unsurprising sentiment at a time of left-wing panic and hyperbole.
It was a ruse: she wanted to sound dangerous while actually buying into the safest opinions you can have. What a comedown from the Madonna of the Erotica album and the Sex book.
Social justice has turned previously interesting, funny celebrities into dull, unoriginal clones who regularly embarrass themselves in fits of political hysteria. Witness Sarah Silverman, who was funny before she contracted feminism, once cracking jokes about gays, Jews and Hispanics with abandon, now seeing swastikas in road construction markings and throwing a fit on Twitter. Or Madonna’s claim that Camille Paglia criticized her for “sexually objectifying” herself (Paglia’s position is more or less the exact opposite).
Villa found herself surprised by the positive response to her dress. On Fox, she explained that people at the Grammys told her in hushed voices “I voted for him [Trump] too.”
Villa’s experience on the web was much the same. “Honestly, I’ve had so many overwhelming responses of love and support, I haven’t even been able to read the negative comments.” But despite her focus on the positive, Villa acted bravely. She knew she’d be attacked, perhaps even physically, and she must surely have realized how many doors will now slam shut in her face in the entertainment industry.
The fact that so many other people at the Grammys quietly admitted to supporting Trump reveals the pickle that celebrities have got themselves into. By allowing leftist virtue-signalling to run wild, they are now unable to admit to voting the same way as half the country, as well as a sizeable chunk of their own fans. This is an absurd position to be in, and it’s all because celebrities have allowed political intolerance to spread unchecked.
Some of the braver liberal comedians — Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, and even Tina Fey — have spoken out against the dangers of political correctness.
Villa’s success should be a signal to other pro-Trump celebrities, artists, and entertainers: it’s not just safe to come out of the closet, it’s beneficial. The grandees of showbiz might hate you, but an army of rebels, renegades, and deplorables in the public will rally to your side. None of this is news to me, of course — in June of 2015, I called it the “law of Heckle Shekels”.
Chadwick Moore, a gay journalist from New York who recently came out as a conservative, has discovered the same untapped market. Subjected to months of shunning, bullying, and cold-shouldering from his former liberal friends after he profiled me in Out magazine, Moore has now found in conservatism a much bigger, more appreciative and perhaps even larger audience.
Keep in mind Chadwick Moore is a gay man and Joy Villa is a black woman. The man who designed Villa’s dress is a gay Filipino immigrant. All, then, come from constituencies that the left believes it owns, and both work in fields that the left consider their home turf. But if lone rebels like them can make such an impact so quickly, something tells me that dominance is in peril.
The left’s seething outrage at the sight of their formerly loyal voting blocs turning on them will be delicious to watch during the Trump presidency. Fox news has for years defied its critics with shows like Outnumbered, that feature women and minorities trampling on political correctness on a daily basis.
We are about to see dissident minorities all across America rise up and rub the left’s nose in their failure. They know, as we do, that left-wing taboos and language codes don’t protect minorities, they coddle them. Already abandoned by their old white-working class base, the left’s next humiliation will be the rebellion of their vaunted “rainbow coalition.”
Villa now says that she wants to go to the White House, meet President Trump, and sing for him wearing her MAGA dress. I hope Daddy makes it happen.