Celebrities should keep themselves out of politics, because it's ugly when they get out of their lane. But now that a billionaire celebrity is in the White House, tweeting about ratings nearly as much as policy, who can blame people like Jim Carrey (who hails from Canada and enjoys dual citizenship) from chiming in.
Two of his latest paintings (who knew Carrey was a painter?) illustrate the ugliness of a celebrity crossing over into the political lane.
"This is the portrait of a so-called Christian whose only purpose in life is to lie for the wicked. Monstrous!" is the tag line on a portrait of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary. It's not a pretty picture, and Carrey isn't a particularly good artist. But I'll give him points for honesty and for not making a terrible parody of the real Sanders, and the way she dresses, like Cher did.
I'll also give Carrey points for speaking of the elephant in the room. It's the job of the White House press secretary to spin like the top in the final scene of Inception, and that means telling lies at times. And Sanders works for President Trump, who is absolutely fine with throwing out lies like party favors at Chelsea Clinton's wedding. Also, many evangelicals have shamelessly sullied themselves by claiming it's not so bad that Trump likely slept with a porn star while his wife was pregnant with their son, and then had his lawyer pay her to keep quiet.
If political-minded pastors of megachurches can cover that sin, we've got a monstrous problem. So really, Carrey isn't saying anything that shouldn't be said. But we know that Carrey hates Trump, and embodies the Trump Derangement Syndrome so common to leftist celebrities and media these days.
This one is even worse (better?) than the first one. It's like a photonegative of an orange-skinned Trump. It's even amusing, and now that Carrey has gone rather public with it, I would expect this image to grace some major newsmagazines. In the end, these images are really harmless, if ugly.
But what's uglier is the response from people defending the president, because they attack Jim Carrey for who he is, not what he drew. The reaction of Trump supporters is the kind of outrage Erick Erickson experienced when he first disinvited Donald Trump from the RedState gathering in 2015--"let's ruin Carrey's career." (Arguably, it's been ruined for quite some time.)
Now, to be fair, the left has denounced conservatives and asked us to die in various ways, some banal, some colorful, and some positively threatening to the point we are concerned. I didn't see any tweets asking Jim Carrey to die in a fire, or threatening his family.
But free speech is free speech, good or bad, offensive or ugly.
I'd rather that no celebrities ran for office ever again. As much as Trump does things in the White House no other president could do (and I don't mean things that Bill Clinton did do), I'd trade his presidency for the current trend of actors and celebrities running for high office.
Honestly, we don't need Oprah for president, or Cynthia Nixon for governor of New York. We don't need Beyonce, or Kid Rock, or anyone else to cross lanes from entertaining the public to governing us. You might bring up Arnold Schwarzenegger or Fred Thompson, or Ronald Reagan for that matter. But Thompson was a political and policy guy before he was an actor. Reagan left acting for decades before he ran for president, and served two terms as California governor. Schwarzenegger reinvents himself every few decades, and is remarkably successful in everything he does (that might be the result of the word "discipline").
Donald Trump, on the other hand, has been successful at only one thing: being a celebrity. At that, he's very good. The best. It won him the presidency. Jim Carrey, meh. The only thing Carrey does that befits a politician is talking out of his anus.
But even that's better than the lengths some Trump sycophants will go to in protecting their idol. Leave Jim Carrey alone in his First Amendment rights. His art may be ugly, but many people share his opinion.
I could say that perhaps the Trump White House could do a better job in building bridges, but I think the time for that is two years too late. Put another way, if Trump announced a cure for cancer, CBS, MSNBC, and CNN would defend cancer.
But that doesn't mean Jim Carrey is 100% wrong either. His art is ugly, but there are uglier things lurking, especially on Twitter.