If you’re of a certain age or know a bit of history you can recall when traditional America was in the ascendant. There was a time when the culture was flying high, hitting an apogee about 1962. Not saying it was perfect. But compared to today it was Olympian.
Then the counterculture 60s started, followed by the failed 70s. The Reagan era brought about a resurgence of conservative values in the 80s. But soon after the Gipper left the helm we started to hear about PC, “hate speech,” and the such.
Today we’re dealing with CRT, a media, educational, and entertainment groupthink just to the left of Hugo Chavez, and a social media industry that trends toward socialist and authoritarian censorship.
We seem to have forgotten George Orwell’s words that “Free speech is my right to say what you don’t want to hear.” Or Thomas Jefferson’s wisdom, “It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg.”
But recently things have changed for the better. Perhaps the American public is getting tired of having their kids indoctrinated, their values trashed, and their country denigrated. Four examples stand out as potential signs of a changing cultural climate. The Musk purchase of Twitter, the failure of CNN+, the problems of Disney, and the ideological turnaround at Netflix. We’ll focus on Netflix.
For years the service had been getting more and more left wing, losing volumes of subscribers including this writer. It cut production deals with the Obamas, pushed any leftist social engineering agenda that came down the pike, and aggressively tried to shut out conservative voices. And how has that worked out for them?
Netflix stock is down 61 percent over the last 12 months and it has lost 200,000 subscribers. Well, for once somebody got the message and recently, after internal calls to censor comedian Dave Chappelle, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos sent out a memo.
“We let viewers decide what’s appropriate for them, versus having Netflix censor specific artists or voices,” Netflix said in the now famous missive. “Depending on your role, you may need to work on titles you perceive to be harmful. If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you.” BOOM! Netflix tells screaming leftists to get with the program or pack their bags. Score one for freedom of speech. And, Sarandos wasn’t finished.
“We are trying to support creative freedom and artistic expression among the artists that work at Netflix,” he said. “Sometimes, and we do make sure our employees understand this, because of that — because we’re trying to entertain the world, and the world is made up of folks with a lot of different sensibilities and beliefs and senses of humor and all those things — sometimes, there will be things on Netflix that you dislike.” That’s right. Lump it left wing censors. Netflix wants to make money and stop losing subscribers. Thus, they want to appeal to a culturally and ideologically diverse (actually diverse) audience. Duh.
Is this the great cultural turnaround America needs to restore the apogee? Is the fight against PC and left wing censorship ending with victory? Not yet. However, as Winston Churchill said, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”