In today’s New York Post, I talk to David Mamet, the most successful and celebrated American playwright of the past 40 years and unquestionably the most prominent cultural figure of our time to announce his abandonment of liberalism and his embrace of the ideas of Hayek, Friedman, Sowell, and Whittaker Chambers. He is without question the most prominent ideological convert to the Right ever to emerge from the community of American artists. One point I don’t make in the piece, but which is undeniable, is that Mamet is the first true neoconservative to emerge in decades. His journey takes in all the qualities that led the first generation of neoconservatives to change their views: Increasing discomfort with anti-Americanism, anger at the left’s turn against Jewish nationalism, a growing understanding of the wisdom of markets, and a sense of outrage at the promulgation of ideas like affirmative action that suggest we should judge people as a collective rather than on the basis of their own individual characters and accomplishments:
“Jesus I love this country,” says a president of the United States about to lose his re-election bid in the last line of his hilarious 2009 play, “November.” Mamet, who knows a great deal about the darker recesses of the human heart, has freed himself here to express unambiguous love — love of country, love of tradition, love of his own people and (most exciting in terms of the book itself) the love of a good day’s work.
The piece appears here. You’ll like it. Believe me.