It wasn’t philosophy. But it was profound.
It wasn’t poetry. But it was inspiring.
It wasn’t pretty. But it was beautiful.
Jon Lovitz’s epic rant, which he delivered over the weekend, will provide entertainment for days to come. But this story means much more than the typical entertainment news sideshow. In less than five minutes, the SNL great spoke truth to power and defended American ideals that our own president is actively attempting to subvert.
During a podcast conversation with “Clerks” director Kevin Smith, Lovitz launched into a rhetorical rampage, denouncing President Barack Obama for his endless attacks on America’s wealthy citizens.
Addressing President Obama’s recurrent assertion that “the rich don’t pay their taxes,” the SNL great fumed and rendered a quick verdict. “It’s fucking bullshit.” The vehemence of Lovitz’s unexpected broadside stunned Smith momentarily silent and prompted nervous giggles from the audience, but the comedian continued, “And I voted for the guy and I’m a Democrat. What a fucking asshole.”
Again, it was beautiful. At long last, someone from the left retaliated against Obama’s relentless assault on success.
Countless conservatives have exhaustively deconstructed Obama’s economic arguments. Sean Hannity regularly insists that he “never got a job from a poor person.” Economists often observe that the investments of the wealthy are essential for growth. The rare, magic, missing ingredient that Lovitz provided was non-ideological moral outrage.
This Jewish Democrat millionaire comedian earned his fortune by “working his ass off.” In the America that he grew up in, he was told that he could accomplish anything through hard work. His boyhood mentors encouraged him to “go for it,” and he did. And they were right. Through hard work, Lovitz achieved fame, riches and wild success. And after three years of being vilified for that achievement, Jon Lovitz has had enough. He’s disgusted with President Obama.
Lovitz voted for Obama. He still refers to himself as a Democrat. Presumably, he agrees with Obama on most issues and policy. So why stand in the way of your party in an election year? Lovitz clearly takes Obama’s attacks on the rich personally, but he also sees something sinister and threatening in our president’s class warfare stew.
Beyond traditional party differences, there’s always been a common thread in American politics. Our leaders champion success.
All of the great liberal icons (and every good president in our nation’s history) believed that the greatness of America was due to the greatness of Americans. Our wealth was not due to natural resources or geography or happenstance, and certainly not to our politicians. Our best leaders have always known that future hope and prosperity flows from the utterly unique can-do spirit of our citizens. Enterprise has always been revered by our leaders. Until Obama.
American success is not a triumphant colossus moving in a prescribed, unified motion. American success is a scrappy, buzzing, chaotic mountain of individual strivers leaving wealth in their wake as they make their next move. When President Obama demonizes the most successful of our strivers, he’s not making the world fairer. He’s discouraging the act of striving.
Americans do not hate the rich. They want to join them. Though our citizens’ political parties differ on where wealth should be allocated, the majority of Americans still know that wealth must be created by individuals before it is redistributed. And, as a corollary, rich people are heroes — to be emulated, not degraded.
Jon Lovitz’s wonderful rant was like the scream of a tea kettle. He may have just piped up the other day, but the water has been boiling for a while. His denunciation of anti-rich propaganda is a rejection of Obama’s benighted vision of America. And though many on the right will cheer Lovitz in the coming days, he speaks for a much broader swath of his countrymen.
Yates Walker is a conservative activist and writer. Before becoming involved in politics, he served honorably as a paratrooper and a medic in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.