‘Yellowstone’ creator Taylor Sheridan spoke with podcaster Joe Rogan about how social activists have polarized the country by vilifying qualities like work ethic and masculinity.
Sheridan mentioned a famous poem, "If I were the Devil," written and popularized by national radio commentator Paul Harvey in the mid-1960's. In the poem, Harvey describes how the biblical figure Satan would go about corrupting the world by subverting the culture of the United States, up until the twist at the end reveals such trends have already begun. The poem is often praised for observing the social trends in the 1960's and extrapolating that they would overturn America's values in the following decades.
"Wow, April 3rd, 1965. Paul Harvey nailed it," Rogan said after playing one version of the poem. "Wow."
"You can use the Devil as a euphemism for anything that you want," the ‘Yellowstone’ creator said, "but the result is the same. We're seeing it."
Sheridan recounted some rhetoric he had heard along the lines of "'all these things are bad,' ‘work ethic,’ all these things are 'racist.’"
In an infamous incident, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture shared a widely condemned chart about race, indicating that concepts such as "Hard work is the key to success," the"nuclear family" and "rugged individualism" are aspects of the "White dominant culture" of America. The museum received fierce backlash.
Rogan agreed with Sheridan and added that masculinity has been labeled as "toxic" in recent years.
"Oh yeah, I've been accused of that," Sheridan replied.
"Congratulations, you're on the right side," Rogan said and laughed. "'Defund the police,' ‘toxic masculinity,’ they're all sort of in the same category of things," he said." "Seems silly to think that way."
"You need all of it," Rogan continued. "You need masculinity and femininity," and went on to say that "natural masculine behavior" is required for activities like professional football, slamming the idea that masculinity is "toxic."
"These are all terms that have been created," Sheridan said. "It's fascinating that language is being reinvented before our eyes. There's all these new words that are just meant to keep one person from disagreeing with another person's position."
Sheridan went on to recount an excerpt from a book noting "the fundamental difference between liberalism and conservatism" and the reason these ideologies are "destined" to polarize further and further apart to extremes.
"Essentially, it's stated that the liberal point of view was that crime and all these social ills is a social construct and that if you could find a way to level the playing field for everybody, crime would be eliminated, all these issues would go away, poverty would go away, all of the social ills that we have would disappear if everyone had the same opportunities and the same stuff," he said.
"The flipside of that is the conservative view which is, ‘There’s evil in the world, there's good in the world, we're gonna try and manage the evil as best we can and create an opportunity for people to succeed, or they can f--- up and best of luck,'" he continued. "One side seems naive, one side seems extremely harsh, but those are the beliefs and that side can never compromise with this side and vise-versa because you're abandoning your own ideology."