A few days ago, the Heritage Foundation named a long-serving member of its board, a black woman, as the new president of the organization [Heritage Foundation taps Kay Coles James to be next president, by Nolan McCaskill and Eliana Johnson, Politico, December 19, 2017]. The old joke comes to mind: “What do you call a black person at a Heritage Foundation conference? The keynote speaker.”
Which brings us to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The half-Samoan/half-black professional wrestler turned Hollywood star leads in the reboot of Jumanji hitting theaters this weekend. The original starred Robin Williams, so the reboot is yet another example of unnecessarily remaking the same film, only this time with a multiracial cast.
“The Rock” has a history with conservatives, who believe he is one of them ever since he spoke at the 2000 GOP Convention [Watch the Rock’s Very Odd Speech at the 2000 Republican National Convention, by Osita Nwanevu, Slate, July 19, 2016].
Because of this appearance, the myth of The Rock being a conservative and a Republican has proliferated [A Major Republican Actor Is Distance Himself from His GOP ‘Buddy’ And Saying He’s Friends With Obama, by Zach Noble, The Blaze, July 19, 2014]. IMDB even lists him as a conservative actor.
Clickbait articles like Newsmax’s “Top 30 Hollywood Republican Celebrities” [by John Blosser, February 10, 2015]associate him with Clint Eastwood, Kelsey Grammer, and Sylvester Stallone, all of whom have made explicitly conservative statements over the years.
Of course, Johnson also attended the Democrat convention in 2000, so this is pretty thin stuff [The Rock’s Presidential ‘Campaign’ Shows We’ve Learned Nothing, by Ryan Teague Beckwith, Time, May 19, 2017]. Claiming Johnson is conservative is simply part of the old embarrassing Beltway Right tradition of campaigning against “Hollywood” while simultaneously latching on to any celebrity, no matter how obscure, who could plausibly be called “conservative.”
Enter archetypal cuckservative David French, who slobbered all over Johnson a few months ago, with a cover story in National Review begging him to run for president in 2020 [The Celebrity We Need, May 15, 2017].
Between creepy references to Johnson’s muscularity, French outlines a questionable theory: Johnson is politically conservative because he promotes “hard work.”
When he “uses” his public platform, he uses it to promote the value of hard work. As he tweets (and constantly states), “Blood, sweat, and respect. The first two you give, the last one you earn.” The mantra is constant. And it accompanies every aspect of his personal story. Without hard work, you can achieve nothing. As a basic cultural message—particularly to an entitled generation—it’s hard to beat.
Furthermore, because Johnson “aims to entertain” instead of using his celebrity for activism, he’s a uniting figure. “The Rock is the right celebrity for our polarized time,” French squees. “The politics can wait.”
Thus speaks the journal which claims to define serious American conservatism.
But of course, French’s theory isn’t even true. Johnson’s a registered Independent, not a Republican [Will Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson actually run for president? ‘It’s a real possibility.’ By Marissa Payne, Washington Post, May 10, 2017]. More importantly, Johnson has already become involved in activism, attacking Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank when Plank called President Trump an “asset” to the USA for his “pro-business” stance.
Johnson, who partners with Under Armour for a clothing line, sneered:
“We don’t partner with a brand casually. I partner with brands I trust and with people who share my same values. That means a commitment to diversity, inclusion, community, open-mindedness and some serious hard work.”
[Dwayne Johnson, Misty Copeland Respond to Under Armour CEO’s Pro-Trump Comments, by Sam Reed, Hollywood Reporter, February 10, 2017]
Even bland praise of the Commander-in-Chief is too much for Johnson, hero of National Review. But a vague reference to “serious hard work” is probably good enough for French. You can almost see him raising his fist at the Democrats and shouting, “We believe in hard work and you do not!”
“When the players are kneeling as a last resort, as a desire to be heard, clearly they’re not being heard. It’s an opportunity for our leaders, our president and his staff, to hear them, truly hear them, and not be angry.”
[Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson: Trump needs to listen to protesting sports players, by Alicia Cohn, The Hill, December 2, 2017]
Johnson also attacked President Trump’s travel ban from terrorist nations on the grounds he believes in “inclusion” [The Rock Completely Disagrees With President Trump’s Travel Ban: ‘I Believe in Inclusion, by Raisa Bruner, Time, May 10, 2017].
His condemnation of two of President Trump’s most pro-American actions show where Johnson’s true loyalties lie in a fragmenting America where political divisions are defined by race. Unquestionably, Johnson would run as a Democrat if he became a candidate. He could use National Review’s gushing cover in an ad.
But beyond this, there’s something even more fascinating about Johnson. As in Jumanji, his movie career has been defined by his being substituted into roles once played by white men—or even playing a white man himself.
For example, 1973’s Walking Tall was a loose retelling of the life of white Southern lawman Sheriff Buford Pusser. It was remade with the same title in 2004 with Johnson in the lead, only now he’s a Special Forces soldier named Chris Vaughn.
The Rock became the legendary demigod Hercules in a 2014 film, stepping into the role once played by Steve Reeves.
Even in 2015’s San Andreas, a film praised by Cuckservative Revie w’s French, Johnson seems to be a white male, with his two daughters in the film (played by Alexandra Daddario and Arabella Morton) both very far from black or Samoan in appearance [‘Fate of the Furious’ Dwayne Johnson has been wrestling for years with the politics of race, pro wrestling and Hollywood, by David Dennis Jr., The Undefeated, March 31, 2017]. (The person I saw it with speculated that his wife in the film had had an affair.)
And in G.I. Joe: Retaliation, his character received General George S. Patton’s .45 pistol from the original G.I. Joe himself (played by Bruce Willis), a racially symbolic gesture if there ever was one.
The Rock’s ability to simply “take over” white roles is probably why he is so attractive to someone like French. The cuckservative believes racial polarization will somehow avoid consuming him if he simply doesn’t think about it. A cuckservative also believes, as a foundational principle, that the symbols and institutions of the Historic American Nation will endure and still retain the same meaning and function even as the population is transformed.
In cinematic terms, that’s the role Dwayne Johnson has performed during his entire career. And if he steps into politics, he’ll do much the same thing, as he’ll support far-Left causes like Open Borders and Black Lives Matter, but he’ll do it with a smile and vague allusions to unity.
The sad part: it would probably work. Johnson’s celebrity star power would allow him to compete effectively with Trump and turn out the non-white voters the Democrats depend on. Barack Obama used a similar trick of dishonestly posing as a “uniter” to launch his national political career while exploiting anti-white sentiments.
And you can count on the Main Stream Media to run cover for Johnson the same way journalists did for Obama.
In the “united” America people like Johnson and Obama exemplify, the Historic American Nation is written out of history.
Cuckservatives like French may not care. But Americans who actually want our country to endure should. After all, we want a real country. We don’t want some dishonest bastardization posing as the real thing. We don’t want the political equivalent of yet another crappy Hollywood remake.
Paul Kersey[Email him] is the author of the blog SBPDL, and has published the books SBPDL Year One, Hollywood in Blackface and Escape From Detroit, Opiate of America: College Football in Black and White and Second City Confidential: The Black Experience in Chicagoland. His latest book is The Tragic City: Birmingham 1963-2013.