The more Matt Damon talks, the more apparent it is that the Hollywood of patriots such as John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart is gone, gone, gone. Indeed, the city that once hosted Ronald Reagan’s search and destroy mission for Communists now hosts $30,000-a-plate-dinners for every anti-American, anti-capitalist group in need of a sponsor (which is just a fancy way of saying they host Democrat fund-raisers).
It was not so long ago that Hollywood actors believed it was as much their duty as others to fight the wars in which America was involved. Men such as Glenn Ford, Charlton Heston, Ronald Reagan, and Lee Marvin took up arms in our military because they viewed America as something of greater worth their own lives. But today’s Hollywood trend seems to be the exact opposite and the only war the industry as a whole, and actors turned “peace activists” in particular, readily join is the one against the deployment of troops and by extension, against the troops themselves.
Damon personified this latest Hollywood trend in 2006 when he criticized the U.S. for possessing a “fighting class” comprised of poor people who fight all our wars for us and argued that if we go to war then everyone should have to suit up and take part. His eloquent words were: “If we all get together and decide we need to go to war then that’s something that needs to be shared by everybody.” Then he gave us the now infamous sound-bite: “You know, and if the President has daughters that are of age then maybe they should have to go too.”
I’ve got just a two things to say here: 1. Damon is an idiot. 2. The myth that the poor do all the fighting in this country’s military has been debunked more often than the myth that Damon graduated from college.
How far have we, as a culture, fallen when someone like Damon can stay as far away from the battlefield as possible yet tell us that everyone should have to fight? (And starring in a war movie is a pretty poor substitute).
Don’t misunderstand me: There are plenty of actors who did not go to war or will not go to war, yet remain patriots through their support of the cause and of those who do go. There was a time when Hollywood actors who could not fight still supported and spoke highly of the cause and of their fellow actors who did fight. It was no less a man than John Wayne who, though he could not serve, gave so tirelessly of himself in U.S.O. activities during the Vietnam War that he received a Congressional Gold Medal for his support of our troops.
I’m grateful that a few men, like Gary Sinise, carry on this tradition even now. But by and large today’s Hollywood crowd is more of the Tom Hayden, a.k.a. Mr. Jane Fonda, persuasion in that they claim to support our troops while opposing the war (which is about as logical as claiming to support firemen while setting buildings ablaze).
When actors were patriots, they brought something else to the table and that something else was respect. Respect for themselves and for others, and in turn they earned our respect. This trait is sorely lacking in individuals like Damon and other esteemed political scientists like George Clooney. For example, in 2003 Clooney mocked Heston by saying, “Charlton Heston announced again today that he is suffering from Alzheimer’s,” after Heston revealed he was suffering from that disease.
The “great and powerful” Clooney justified this insult by saying that because Heston had been President of the N.R.A. he “deserve[d] whatever anyone says about him.” But it’s just because Clooney opposes the N.R.A. that he deserves whatever anyone says about him as well.
With this one insult, Clooney’s arrogance demonstrated a lack of respect combined with a lack of common decency that puts him right down there with the Dixie Chicks. You may remember the Dixie Chicks. They are the group who made fun of President Bush while in Europe during a time of war and assured their fans that the comments would not hurt their careers. (Are they still performing?)
Unfortunately, Clooney did not fall away from the public eye with the Dixie Chicks. He and Damon are both still raising money and doing what they can to get Obama elected. For Clooney, this includes helping Obama by “offering policy and speaking advice…[and] helping [him] raise money from within the wealthy,” according to AP reporter Andrew Malcolm. And according to “Democrat insiders,” Clooney’s policy advice includes an overview of how to be more lenient on the Palestinians and the need to withdraw from Iraq immediately upon taking office.
Besides fundraising, Damon’s great contribution to getting Obama elected seems to be providing the voting public with his expert opinion of Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin. In a recent AP interview, a distraught Damon said he knew very little about Palin, except that “she was a mayor of a really, really small town, and [the] governor of Alaska for less than two years.” He then rambled on about how the selection of Palin, “in terms of governance,” is a “disaster.”
It’s really embarrassing to watch a grown man – a small man yes, but still grown – rule Palin’s candidacy a “disaster” because she’s only had two years of experience as a state governor. These are two more years than Obama has had governing anything.
In the AP interview, Damon provided additional grounds for disqualifying Palin based on her alleged belief that the earth is only thousands of years old. This seems like nothing less than a not-so-veiled-attack on her Christianity.
An MSNBC (of course) report published after Damon made these insightful comments captured things succinctly: “Matt Damon Fears a Palin Adminstration.” Fear is the operative word, my friends. But even if you put fear aside, Damon still seems frustrated over the fact that one of the plebs, and especially Palin, whom he described as a “folksy…hockey mom,” would dare to ascend above her caste.
Is there any opinion — other than Keith Olbermann’s — which could be of less value that Damon’s?
Yes, the Hollywood we once adored has given way to the Hollywood we abhor. The time when action heroes like Steve McQueen were also real life heroes via the United States Marine Corps seems a past so long gone. And while we still have Robert Duvall, Gary Sinise, Bruce Willis, Ben Stein, and Tom Selleck, among others, to look up to, the majority of the actors who predominate on screen prove that Hollywood is not just for actors anymore — It has become its own society with a value system a hundred and eighty degrees out of line from the one you’ll find on main street, U.S.A.
Until things change, we must simply accept the fact that our friends and family members will continue to fight the wars that keep this nation free while Hollywood’s elitists will continue to fight the warriors who fight the wars.