'Eyes Wide Shut' actress: Reaction to my 'coming out as a conservative' story was absolutely shocking

A few weeks ago I wrote an op-ed for Fox News about some of my difficult experiences as a conservative in liberal Hollywood. I never expected it to have much impact – but I was wrong.

As people started reading and commenting in greater and greater numbers and thousands of personal messages started pouring in to me, one thing became abundantly clear: my experience of being attacked for holding conservative beliefs resonated with many people.

Sadly, bigotry and even hatred directed at conservatives remains politically correct among progressives. It is one of the few socially acceptable forms of prejudice still around.  

My op-ed sparked so much reaction not because of who I am – a mostly unknown actress with some minor credits to my name, most prominently for acting in the film “Eyes Wide Shut” in 1999.

I’m convinced that my op-ed drew attention because it mirrored the experience of so many other conservatives in our daily lives. The response I got to the essay opened my eyes to just how common attacks on conservatives are in our country today.

Being conservative or a supporter of President Trump in America today invites attacks and insults from the left. We are shunned, unfriended, shamed, vilified, ridiculed and sometimes we even lose work. It seems we are considered part of a new Axis of Evil.

Being conservative or a supporter of President Trump in America today invites attacks and insults from the left. We are shunned, unfriended, shamed, vilified, ridiculed and sometimes we even lose work. It seems we are considered part of a new Axis of Evil.   

I have received messages from fellow conservatives – not just in the U.S. but from around the world – telling me their own stories of being attacked and offering their prayers and support. I was humbled to know I was clearly not alone.

Judging from all the positive messages, I hope that in some small way I have empowered other conservatives to stand up for what they believe and not be bullied into silence by progressives and the media and entertainment elites.

But in addition to messages of support, I got plenty of messages from the haters. The overwhelming response from them was basically: “Who are you?” As if to say that because I’m a “nobody” I’m irrelevant and what I have to say is also irrelevant.

Such irony, coming from progressives who claim to be for the underdog, the victimized and the oppressed. Apparently, the oppression of conservatives and conservative thought doesn’t count in this case.

I also got a dishonorable mention on “Real Time with Bill Maher” on HBO, complete with cutaways to others laughing at my “lack of fame” and my “irrelevance.”

Those like Maher, who see themselves as some kind of cosmopolitan liberal elite, are only too ready to sneer at the culture that worships fame. And yet, when someone who isn’t famous contradicts their worldview, their first response is: “Who is this person? They aren’t famous, why should we listen to anything they say?”

Rather than discuss what I said, these elites just sneered at the fact that I’m not a top-grossing film star with a shelf full of Academy Awards who is mobbed by fans everywhere I go.

I wonder why we value this thing called “fame” anyway. I learned with my small moment in the limelight that “fame” in and of itself has no real value. Looking at some of the personal train wrecks in Hollywood over the years, it’s sadly clear they took the fame game to heart.

Let me pose some questions to every successful “famous” leftist pundit and celebrity:

How are you using your voice? For a good cause, or just to burnish your brand, draw more fame and make more money? Are you trying to end the hate and the polarization in our country or increase it?

The sad truth is that so many who mount hysterical, hateful and almost nonstop attacks on conservatives and President Trump are fanning the flames of division that pit Americans against each other. Instead of seeking to bridge differences, they seek to accentuate them.

Our great country is called the United States of America – but so many are trying to make us the Divided States of America, filled with citizens who reject cooperation and embrace confrontation.

People with some measure of fame – whether from appearing in films or on TV – have the power to change minds and hearts. Yet instead, too many look lovingly at their bank balance and huge estates, and ignore the hypocritical monsters they have made of themselves and cater to the groupthink trolls they’ve created. It’s so ugly.

It was also telling that, in my case, the haters who attacked me rarely if ever were willing to engage in actual debate on the issues I raised. Sadly, they stuck to small-minded, petty, ad hominem insults on my character, my looks, my intelligence, my talent, and even my name.

And all the attacks on me came from a place of smug, egotistical, self-righteousness. En masse bullying, basically. But, oh, how I must have struck a nerve! Otherwise, why would they bother attacking me at all?

Moving forward, we are all still faced with the same dilemma: What do we do about this war of ideologies. Progressives can demonize and insult conservatives around the clock if they wish. Conservatives can even choose to respond in kind.

But what does this war of words accomplish? It reminds me of children on the playground, yelling insults at one another as they throw temper tantrums that are a sign of their immaturity.

My advice to conservatives is not to play dirty and return ad hominem insults with the same snarky smugness. This accomplishes nothing.

Instead, we need to bypass the insults, engage in rational discussion and serious debate, and not allow our egos to get in the way. And we need to invite our progressive critics to join us on the high road – if they are willing to act like mature adults. After all, what is the alternative?

Julienne Davis is an American actress, singer and model.