I love love love to read changers’ stories about their political conversions. They’re all a little bit alike and yet different. I get the urge to write to them and say “Hey, visit my blog; you’ll find a lot there that speaks to what you’re going through!”
But alas; quite a few (like for instance the latest person to “come out,” Daniel Knauf) seem to lack publicly available email addresses. Anybody have any idea how to reach him?
Knauf is a particular subset of political changer that’s surprisingly common: the Hollywood variety. And, Hollywood being what it is, he was also a silent changer till very very recently, when sorrow at Andrew Breitbart’s death and the nastiness of the left’s reaction to it caused him to burst his mental chains and say his piece.
Knauf’s original political turning point was also a very common one: 9/11. But I’ll let him describe what happened to him:
I remember watching the collapse of the first tower and feeling–literally feeling the breath just leave my lungs, my chest filling with a terrible, ghastly void; a sense of distant screams in a windswept wasteland and loss loss loss oh my God all those people all those people they murdered all those thousands of people…
Like every American, I was approached [the next day] by a number of colleagues who wished to vent and commiserate.
But unlike every American, my coworkers expressed little or no anger toward the terrorists who had committed this atrocity. Rather, they directed their vitriol towards American Imperialism, American foreign policy, American arrogance, American warmongering, American racism and, most of all, our American President, the evil, unfathomably stupid, idiot-Christian, bumbling Texan oaf, George W. Bush.
It’s hard to underestimate the profound shock this sort of thing can engender in a person who’d previously been oblivious to some of the worst excesses of the left. If Knauf was anything like me, he really hadn’t previously talked politics to most of his friends, and therefore didn’t even know their views in many cases. It just hadn’t come up, or if it had, he hadn’t paid much attention; it was just so much background blah-blah-blah.
But the drama of 9/11 made talking about these things impossible to avoid, and the emotion focused the attention quite sharply, and the resultant disclosures were enough to make a lot of people’s worlds turn upside down. I know whereof I speak.
Knauf’s reaction was not so unusual either, especially for those who earn their livelihood in professions where being on the right is a no-no and can lead to loss of income or fear of such:
And what did I say?
Not a damn thing.
I was just shocked silent. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing…
Over the ensuing years, I continued to remain silent whenever confronted by the toxic, batshit-crazy, knee-jerk, anti-intellectual, when-in-doubt-blame-America Leftism that pervades Hollywood. I saw what happened to others if they spoke up or disagreed with the party line. I actually witnessed one writer, who foolishly expressed his support for the war in Iraq, set-upon and viciously berated by no less than six crew-members for almost 20 minutes straight.
That night, he found his car had been keyed in our secure lot.
Hmm… must’ve been a random vandal.
Incidentally, though he had a storied career, an amazing list of credits and is one of the most versatile, talented writer-producers I know, the jobs gradually dried up for him and now he can’t, as they say, get arrested in this town.
So now Knauf’s cat is finally out of the bag. I bet it’s a relief. It will be interesting to see what happens to him.