One of the greatest generals, military strategists, writers and philosophers in history walked the Earth more than 500 years before Jesus and was named Sun-Tzu; his writings, plannings, and teachings live today, perhaps more powerfully than at any other time. His book, “The Art of War,” is one of the greatest ever written, and applies to not just battlefields, but also boardrooms, courtrooms, the streets, and even, at times, your own home. I have multiple copies in multiple places so I can reference it at any time; and rarely a week passes when I don’t. One of his most famous quotes is “To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.”
What Sun-Tzu meant is considered commonplace 2500 years later, but only because he taught us all first.
To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy. … If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
That’s the positive version, and sadly it’s practiced less and less. Rather, what we see more and more is individuals, groups, companies, and even countries, decaying before our eyes and simply turning into their “enemies,” by embracing their most disgusting and vile qualities and traits, and thus, succumbing.
Enter the events of the weekend vis a vie, of all things, a major motion picture.
A movie called “The Hunt,” was due to be released in about 6 weeks. Described as a, “political horror film starring two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank,” some media outlets reported that “the plot features ‘elites’ hunting conservatives ‘for sport’.” Other politically conservative websites went even further; The Epoch Times described “The Hunt” as “a movie showing liberals stalking supporters of President Donald Trump,” claiming that “According to the Hollywood Reporter, the movie’s script features blue-state characters choosing to hunt red-state characters who expressed pro-life positions or were deemed racist.” The conservative Blaze website similarly described “The Hunt” as a “horror film about liberal elitists hunting ‘deplorables.’”
All of this, and the very convenient backdrop of three mass-shootings within the last 10 days, led Universal Studios to indefinitely postpone the film’s release. Make no mistake, this film was bullied out of theaters; and therein lies a group becoming its’ very enemy.
For decades, and more vociferously than ever since Donald Trump became president, conservatives have bemoaned two themes over and over again aimed at their “enemies:”
- Don’t jump to conclusions based on here-say and/or false reporting
- Stop claiming to be the tolerant ones when you are intolerant of us and our beliefs.
Oh, the irony.
The claims made by so many that the movie’s plot is overtly about Trump supporters may be true; but there is absolutely no proof of that as no one has actually seen the film. And even if it’s true that earlier versions of the film did originally design it as a “red state versus blue state,” premise, no one actually knows what the final product actually looks like because, again, no one has seen the film. Yet, conservatives en masse had no problem attacking “liberal Hollywood,” for such a disgraceful film that will “further divide America and fuel hate”. Long before the mass shootings of the last two weeks, boycotts were already being organized…boycotts of a film no one has seen. Well, thank God the conservatives weren’t jumping to any conclusions before the facts came out.
In the aftermath of Universal announcing that the film wouldn’t be shown, conservatives cheered and praised the victory. How tolerant. What a fine embrace of Capitalism the party of such displayed.
Every conservative pundit and outspoken politician screams from the rooftops about how intolerant the liberal left is…and that’s true. The liberal left is a myopic movement designed around a very simple philosophy; agree with us or shut-up; and if you don’t shut-up, we will destroy you, period. This is not hyperbole or an ideologically driven observation on my part, it is provably true, and it gave conservatives a moral high ground to bludgeon the left over the head with; until they became the left this weekend. They became the intolerant ones. By celebrating the shelving of a movie no one has seen, based solely on here-say and innuendo, conservatives became their enemy; and the country is worse for it.
Most ironic is the trailer for the film. If you actually take 2 ½ minutes of your life to watch it, you might discover some rather fascinating things:
- It actually seems like a rather compelling plot, almost as though “The Purge,” married “Get Out,” (and, not coincidentally, is produced by the same team that made those movies).
- While the trailer does allude to “rich elites who own the country,” kidnapping and hunting people all from “red states,” there is no indication at all how the film turns out. In fact, the trailer establishes actress Betty Gilpin right away as the heroine, despite being one of the deplorables hunted; leading to an end-of-trailer confrontation with elite leader Hillary Swank. If the entire point of “the Hunt,” is that the hunted rise up and beat the hunters, thus establishing that, once again, the meek shall inherit the Earth and Oligarchies shall never win, wouldn’t that be a spectacular message that conservative Americans would embrace and love? It is absolutely possible and maybe even likely that the movie doesn’t end that way, which is what is so sickening about this entire affair; we may never know.
Conservative principles are simple, and there is one you will hear over and over again and more often than all others:
LET THE MARKET DECIDE
Shame on America’s conservatives and those who support and agree with them in this endeavor. They have betrayed their core principle and have thus, not allowed the market to decide. The conservative thing to do would have been to offer cautious trepidation about the film based on reporting and Hollywood’s long history of being absurdly and unfairly liberal. But while so doing, of course, pave the way for the film’s release, actually watch the movie, and then decide if it warrants outrage, a boycott, or even more.
Instead, the conservatives became their enemy. They are now just as intolerant as their enemies. Trump and his supports spent the weekend justifying it with the classic phrase of the biggest cowards in world history: “We have to fight fire with fire.” Or, said another way, “we have to become our enemy to beat our enemy.” Unfortunately, they forgot Sun-Tzu’s lesson. They abandoned who they are; and now, there is even less difference between the two divides in this country. We now have two political movements who espouse the very simple and very terrifying mantra “agree with us or shut-up, and if you won’t shut-up, we will destroy you, period.”
Anyone care to express an opinion of dissent in that environment? I didn’t think so; and that’s exactly what they want. After all, there’s safety in numbers. So, pick a side and sell your soul; everyone else has.