To begin with, though I found Watching Ellie stunningly bad, though The New Adventures of Old Christine left a bad taste in my mouth, and though I’ve never been able to get into Veep (which feels to me hopelessly derivative of better one-camera comedy series like Curb Your Enthusiasm), I still have a residual fondness of you based on your performance as Elaine in Seinfeld. So I was dismayed to learn that you were lending your talents to the fourth and final night of this year’s Democratic National Convention. And sure enough, even as the rioters and vandals and anarchists were destroying Portland, Oregon, and other cities under the twin banners of Black Lives Matter and Antifa – the former of which the Democratic Party openly celebrates and the latter of which they refuse to condemn – there you were on our screens, as big as life, flashing a bright smile and acting as if absolutely none of these horrors were taking place.
No, instead of acknowledging the madness in the streets, you stood there, describing yourself as “a loyal union member, a passionate climate activist, and a patriotic Democrat,” heaping hyperbolic praise on Michelle Obama (“joking” that her speech had been so spectacular that there’d be a fifth convention night on which it would be re-run “on a loop”) and Kamala “Lock-‘Em-Up” Harris (“She was fabulous!” you gushed), and implying, with a breathtakingly irresponsible gag about Putin, that the disgusting lies about Trump-Russia collusion, now known to have been concocted by crooked leaders of the Obama Administration in what may turn out to be the most scandalous top-down betrayal of the U.S. Constitution on record, were, in fact, true.
Then there was that special moment that you led up to with this ardent declamation:
Here’s the big question. How much of your time and energy are you willing to devote to elect Joe Biden? Here’s my answer. I’m going all in. Look. Elections can break your heart, but sometimes they can make you sing from the mountaintops. And this year, we’re going to sing. This year, we’re going to elect a President who’s honest, experienced and intelligent, a President who actually believes in the rule of law, who will restore dignity and normalcy to the White House and the soul of this nation. And boy, won’t that be something. One of my favorite things Joe Biden says is that you can succeed in life without sacrificing your ideals or your commitment to family. So who better to introduce our nominee, Joe Biden, than his children.
Yes! That was what you were doing! You talked about honesty and dignity and ideals and commitment to family by way of introducing none other than Hunter Biden, that shameless grifter who was kicked out of the Navy for drug use, reneged on child support, slept with his sister-in-law (taking “commitment to family” to a whole new level), and, most notoriously of all, accepted lucrative seats on the boards of shady Ukrainian and Chinese firms in exchange, obviously, for access to his sleazy dad.
Speaking of getting rich, you claimed that Joe Biden would be a president for all Americans, “not just billionaires.” It was funny to hear you mouth the “b” word, because I’ve repeatedly heard you insist in interviews – notably one, not so many years ago, with Howard Stern – that you’re not from a rich background, not one of “those” Dreyfuses. You know this is a lie. You know that your father, who died in 2016, was the Paris-born Gérard Louis-Dreyfus, who in the U.S. used the first name William, and you know he was filthy rich. In 2006, according to Forbes, he was worth over $3 billion; presumably you inherited a chunk of that, which, in addition to your Seinfeld and Veep money, must add up to a tidy sum.
As it happens, I knew your dad: some twenty years ago I was his poetry tutor, meeting with him by transatlantic phone call every week over a period of several months. My total fee: $1000. If I’d known at the time how rich he was – and been aware, as I am now, of his reputation as a generous, great-hearted philanthropist and patron of the arts – I might’ve tried to squeeze him for a bit more.
Anyway, do you really not understand that the party you’re fronting for is precisely a party of billionaires, and of other rich-but-not-quite-billionaire-rich Americans who, from their sumptuous offices in Manhattan and Hollywood and Silicon Valley, are smiling down on the thugs – many if not most of them privileged white teenagers and twentysomethings – who are doing their dirty work in the streets of Minneapolis and Portland and Kenosha? Do you really not realize that your party is at war with the middle-class Americans whose homes and businesses are being mercilessly destroyed by the mob while Democratic mayors and governors refuse to act?
I see that front and center on your Twitter page you’ve posted a BLACK LIVES MATTER logo. What do these three words mean to you? Are you sincerely clueless about the fact that BLM – far from being some benign, fuzzy racial-equality group – is nothing less than a violent Communist army? Do you care about black lives that are snuffed out by black gangsters, or about hardworking black homeowners and small businessmen who’ve lost everything they ever worked for as a result of the depredations committed by spoiled white brats in masks? What about 3-year-old Mekhi James, one-year-old Sincere Gaston, and 7-year-old Natalia Wallace, all black, and all shot dead in Chicago in recent weeks? What about 5-year-old Cannon Hinnant, a white North Carolina boy who was killed this month by a black neighbor? Why is it that none of these children’s names has found a place in the litany of martyrs, beginning with career criminal George Floyd, that you and your fellow BLM supporters routinely and reverently recite?
If you don’t know the truth about BLM, why not? If you do have some idea of what BLM really is about – and if you have even a glimmer of a sense of how much loss and suffering BLM is responsible for – how can you, in all conscience, keep those words posted on your Twitter feed? Or should I understand your BLM logo as nothing other than pathetic virtue signaling by a Tinseltown moneybags whose only motive is to impress the other rich people in her social circle?
Yes, I can imagine that you may well think you’re on the side of good. If so, your idea of good is tragically twisted. Like others of your ilk, presumably, you think that an unqualified support for illegal aliens and sanctuary cities is a mark of virtue; never mind the innocent middle-class citizens who, lacking the kinds of protections enjoyed by rich celebrities who live in gated mansions, are rendered far more vulnerable than you are by your supposed virtue. You may also think that it sounds peachy to defund the police or eliminate prisons. Again, such ideas don’t affect people in your position, with your handlers and chauffeurs and bodyguards, as they do black people in inner cities, who are overwhelmingly in favor of more police.
It was irritating enough to watch you pull off your smug, supercilious turn at the DNC while the cities of America were burning. To put it in a way you’d understand, you yada-yada-yada’d anarchy. But this week, I watched the heartfelt speeches at the RNC by the likes of Maximo Alvarez (who fled to freedom in America from the island prison of Cuba, a polity that Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and other Biden allies unhesitatingly eulogize) and Nicholas Sandman (whose dignified conduct in the face of provocation at the Lincoln Memorial was viciously misrepresented by Democrats, their media puppets, and, yes, many of your fellow celebrities, who couldn’t forgive him for wearing a MAGA cap). Those speeches made me even angrier at you. Because, I found myself thinking, these are the people whose side Julia Louis-Dreyfus should be on, if she considers herself anything of an advocate for the people – and certainly if, like many other mega-wealthy folks, she feels driven to expiate her guilt over her wealth by standing up for the “little guy.”
Why write to you and not to some other DNC flunky? Partly because you’re the one they put up there to serve as a sort of intermediary between the politicians and voters. You were there, expending whatever credibility you enjoy among the general public, to try to sell us on Biden-Harris. Then there’s your father. He was a smart and gracious and sensitive man whom I consider to be one of the most accomplished poets of our time. But the salient point is this: in his poetry he rejected the trends of our time. He wrote in traditional forms, and didn’t care that this made him, in the eyes of other poets, old-fashioned, if not downright reactionary. He didn’t care. He went his own way, and in doing so actually created work of enduring value. Might you be capable of doing the same?
Another point about your dad: for all his wealth and power he was willing and eager to take criticism from the likes of moi. So I like to think that there’s something of him in you that might, just might, incline you to heed these words of censure. Bottom line, Julia: it’s not too late to quit the lockstep legions of the limousine left and do something truly gutsy – namely, become the biggest star on the Trump team.