Bryan Cranston from “Breaking Bad” and the Progressive Quest for Atonement

I hope actor Bryan Cranston made a boatload of money for his role in the television series, “Breaking Bad.” His performance was riveting, and he deserves every penny of it.

Unfortunately, I do not think Mr. Cranston feels this way. I’m not his psychotherapist, but I’m basing this on some comments he recently made in defense of socialism.

In an interview with ITK reported by The Hill, Cranston argued that Obamacare was actually helping many families get health insurance, praising it as a “good and noble act” of President Obama.

“A social program like that, which has been vilified — even the word ‘socialist’ has become a dirty word,” he said. “But in many aspects, as we’ve found, aspects of socialism are a good thing.”

Cranston said he would probably support Hillary Clinton for president in 2016.

He also defended his character Dalton Trumbo, a screenwriter who was blacklisted by Hollywood for being a communist sympathizer.

“The message of the film to me is inclusiveness. It’s to be able to embrace an opposing viewpoint without thinking of them as the enemy or to demonize some of them,” Cranston said, describing Trumbo as “a proud American.”

A Hollywood actor coming out in favor of socialism is nothing new. In fact, it would be news if a Hollywood celebrity came out in favor of laissez-faire capitalism, or even plain old economic conservatism. Although such people undoubtedly exist, they stay in the closet because progressives (on the whole) can be an intolerant bunch when it comes to dissenting opinion. Ask anyone in the Hollywood underground, and they will tell you.

What strikes me about Cranston’s viewpoint is how superficial and shallow it is.

He states that Obamacare is a “good and noble act.” By “good and noble,” he means generous.

But Obamacare, like any other government mandate, relies on the use of force.

Even if you believe that profit and material gain are morally wrong, and only self-sacrificial giving is good, there’s nothing good accomplished – by that standard – when the “generosity” is coerced.

Cranston, and other progressive socialists like him, should be intelligent and aware enough to know that socialist bureaucracy is one of the most inhumane, demoralizing things ever devised. It’s bad for everyone. In relies on coercion and it institutionalizes neurotic guilt, elevating psychological disorder and dysfunction to the high point of “morality.”

One of the many myths about capitalism and free markets is that only the rich support it. The strongest supporters of socialism come from the wealthy left, particularly in the performing arts.

My theory is that such people are atoning for something. Clearly, they do not like the accumulation of wealth and they frown upon it. Yet if someone really believed this deep down, they would give all of their money away, as quickly as it came in. I doubt that Bryan Cranston does this, and I doubt that the army of other leftist-socialist-progressive Hollywood celebrities who have done well for themselves will ever do this.

Mind you, I’m not saying they should. Bryan Cranston earned whatever money he made, and good for him. But why denigrate his own accomplishment, not to mention the potential or actual accomplishment of others, via the moralistic schoolmarm mentality that passes for cool, sophisticated and always highly self-conscious “compassion” in Hollywood and in other leftist enclaves?

Hillary Clinton, who used to be considered a socialist before her party went so far to the economic left that she now seems like a “moderate,” has reportedly made millions. I expect she’s keeping most of it. Of course, without the coercion she has imposed on others throughout her career, she would have been a nobody. The sad fact is that millions of Americans admire this sort of thing, which is why professional hacks and moochers like Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama or any other career politician in either party rise to the level they do.

People who make a lot of money while believing the accumulation of wealth or property is morally bad inevitably face a moral, and therefore psychological, conflict. There’s no escaping this fact, and you do not need a Ph.D. in psychology to figure this out.

This is probably why the strongest, most vocal proponents of socialism and “progressivism” (the same thing) come from wealthy elites.

It’s all about atonement.

It’s too bad the rest of us, who might benefit from, care about or otherwise like to enjoy the benefits of a society grounded in intellectual and economic freedom, must pay the price for this psychological quest for atonement.



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