I often think about how things got to be what they currently are now. The origins and evolutionary period of institutions, cultures, phrases, and methodologies can be fascinating to study and understand. Because this is an election year and celebrity presidential endorsements are a cause célèbre, my curiosity has turned to Hollywood and how it became so leftist in its political lineaments.
Are Hollywood celebrities, writers, designers and creators liberal because they simply have a "rebellious" or counter-cultural streak to their artistic character, or is an up-and-coming actor merely trying to "do as the Romans" do by observing the status quo that is projected by his peers?
This is indeed something worth pondering considerably.
I ask again, are the majority of Hollywood celebrities liberal as a result of their natural way of thinking, or is it a "culture of thought" an outsider working his way in assimilates in order to blend in and get ahead in the film industry?
This brings me to my next question: did you know that Senator Joseph McCarthy - the leading figure in blacklisting and destroying the careers of many Americans over the mere suspicion of communist party affiliation - was a Roman Catholic? This is the same right-wing Joseph McCarthy who, in the 1950's, held hearings and made paranoid accusations of communist and Soviet spies infiltrating American government agencies, military branches, and film industry for the purposes of overthrowing the government of the United States. He is the same individual whose techniques gave rise to the derogatory term "McCarthyism", which can be described as a process that utilizes investigatory methods analogous to those used in the Salem Witch Trials. McCarthy was unable to substantiate his many sensational accusations, and on December 2, 1954 he was condemned by his Senate colleagues for serious misdeeds during his political witch hunt for threats that did not exist.
Either Hollywood has always been as liberal as it is today, but closeted such tendencies because of the overwhelming conservative mindset of most Americans in the 1950's, or it liberalized as a backlash to McCarthyism and other societal taboos that are identified as bearing some likeness to McCarthyism.
If Joseph McCarthy's demagoguery was instrumental in shaping the American film industry into what it is today, then we can attribute, in part, two of Hollywood's cultural conditions to him. Number one is the celebrity commitment to liberal social issues and to the equally left-of-center politicians who advance them; and, number two, the inherent, and widely accepted anti-Catholic vitriol gushing from the mouths (and fingers) of some of Hollywood's leading residents.
Here's one ironic fact you might not know about. The Kennedy clan (Democrats)befriended Joseph McCarthy (Republican) and were even intimidated by the political influence he exercised over John F. Kennedy's constituency in Massachusetts.