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On Tuesday, Washington Post columnist Max Boot waged war with conservatives over the new Top Gun: Maverick movie almost a month after it came out. He slammed those on the right calling the film conservative and went through great pains to prove it is not.
He also claimed that conservatives shouldn’t praise the movie and its portrayal of the U.S. Armed Forces because they’ve been “denigrating” the military.
Boot began the piece asserting that the Top Gun sequel is a hit for having “Tom Cruise, mind-blowing aerial sequences and a rousing storyline” but insisted that people claiming it’s a hit because it’s not woke have “have lost the plot.”
“But according to many right-wing commentators, the actual reason it’s so popular is that it’s so conservative,” Boot wrote. He cited various conservative outlets praising the film. “Breitbart celebrated it as ‘a masculine, pro-American, stridently non-woke blockbuster.’ The Daily Caller gushed: ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Crushes The Box Office As Americans Crave Non-Woke Content.’”
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“If you want more evidence that the right has lost the plot, this is it,” Boot wrote, before proceeding to nitpick these reviews. Boot first mentioned how the movie pushes diversity, implying that having minority pilots in the film is something conservatives hate.
Boot wrote that ace pilot Maverick’s co-pilots “reflect the diversity of the armed forces. By my count, they include two women, a Latino American, three Asian Americans (one of them a woman) and two African Americans. Black actors also portray a chief warrant officer and an admiral, among other characters.”
“That’s a lot more diversity than in the original ‘Top Gun,’” he declared.
He then argued that the foreign policy featured in the movie’s plot is something the right would oppose today. “For another thing, the plot of ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ is exactly the kind of foreign policy interventionism that the right once embraced but now generally opposes (at least when it’s not President Donald Trump ordering the strike).”
“The aviators are sent on a mission to bomb some unnamed country’s nuclear reactor before it can become operational. They aren’t bombing Mexico — the kind of mission the ‘America First’ crowd would presumably prefer today,” he mocked.
Subsequently, Boot provided the main reason he resents conservative appraisals of the film. “But the biggest reason the right’s celebration of ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ is so ludicrous is that it is rooted in outdated stereotypes of the left as anti-military and the right as pro-military,” he wrote. The columnist, “It’s definitely not true today. Note that President Biden is increasing, not decreasing, defense spending after four years of Republicans in power.”
He wrote that the right has no reason to say whether a military movie is patriotic or respectful of the Armed Forces because they’re currently disrespecting it. “Meanwhile, the right has turned on the military with a vengeance for not being MAGA enough.”
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Boot provided the example of Congressman Dan Crenshaw, R-Tex., being jeered at a recent Texas GOP convention for “supporting aid to Ukraine — a cause that all Republicans would have supported back when the original ‘Top Gun’ was released.”
In addition, Boot mentioned how Trump infamously criticized the military service of Vietnam War vet and POW former Senator John McCain, R-Ariz. “If the GOP were truly a pro-military party, it wouldn’t have endorsed a candidate who mocked a war hero. But that ugly insult was no bar to Trump’s nomination,” he wrote.
That insult and the fact that it hasn’t hurt Trump’s “standing with the base,” Boot argued, encourages all the “mini-Trumps to mount their own attacks on our armed forces. Trashing the military has become the way to establish your MAGA bona fides.”
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He then offered a few other examples of GOP lawmakers heavily criticizing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark A. Milley, or GOP leaders slamming the alleged woke indoctrination of U.S. troop before concluding, “Sorry, Republicans: You can’t celebrate ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ for glorifying the military while you’re denigrating it. At least not with a straight face.”