Wednesday, June 08, 2022

Two Actors

As Politico has reported

Matthew McConaughey, in an emotional speech at the White House on Tuesday, called for lawmakers to act on bipartisan gun reforms — two weeks after a mass shooting at a school in the actor’s Texas hometown left 19 students and two teachers dead.

“We need to invest in mental health care, we need safer schools, we need to restrain sensationalized media coverage, we need to restore our family values, we need to restore our American values and we need responsible gun ownership,” McConaughey said at the daily White House press briefing.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said McConaughey met with President Joe Biden just before the briefing “on taking action and keeping our communities safe.” The actor stressed the need for gun restrictions, such as background checks, red flag laws, raising the minimum age of purchase and a waiting period for guns such as AR-15 rifles.

McConaughey is right about investment in mental health care, responsible gun ownership, background checks, red flag laws (mostly), waiting periods, and the need for waiting periods. Raised in Uvalde, he is a believing Christian now in his first (and only) marriage to a woman with whom he has three children, thus not easily branded a hypocrite for promoting "family values" and not easily dismissed as just another "Hollywood liberal."

The "stay in your lane" angle is therefore about the only thing the right can muster against such a fellow advocating gun safety measures. Thus, this tweeter has it exactly right:


Because they both appreciate Matthew McConaughey's message, Hahn and Lawrence O'Donnell may appear to be on the same page (as they literally are on this post). However, Hahn is the only one of the two who noticed that the last President was a celebrity.


It is not the most important speech ever given by an actor. That was delivered seven years ago this month when a great actor descended an escalator in New York, New York and declared 

Ladies and gentlemen, I am officially running for President of the United States.

While I love my company and what I have built, I love my country even more.  When was the last time the US won at anything? When was the last time we beat China or Japan in trade? or Mexico at the border? or anybody in negotiation? When was the last time we had a military victory that was so complete and total that the other side just said “We Quit!” It just doesn’t happen for the US anymore.

Our country needs and deserves a comeback…but, we are not going to get that comeback with politicians. Politicians are not the solution to our problems-- they are the problem. They are almost completely controlled by lobbyists, donors and the special interests—they do not have the best interests of our people at heart.....

It is way past time to build a massive wall to secure our southern border – and nobody can build a bigger and better wall than Donald Trump. A country without borders is, quite simply, not a country.  Mexico is not our friend. They are beating us at the border and hurting us badly at economic development.  They are sending people that they don’t want—the United States is becoming a dumping ground for the world.

We, the American people, bought the "love my company and what I have built" shtick. Not everyone, but enough for the star of the popular NBC shows "The Apprentice" and "Celebrity Apprentice" to be propelled to his party's nomination and to the White House.

Utilizing skills he applied also in the entertainment industry, Trump in 2015-2016 portrayed himself as a successful businessman rather than as an accomplished actor. Nonetheless, as displayed in Lawrence O'Donnell's tweet, a substantial portion of both the left and of the center believed then, and still believes, that Donald Trump is crazy, out-of-control, or stupid.

For the most part, he is none of that. He is clever, scheming, and evil, the latter a concept many left-of-center individuals, typically themselves well-meaning, have trouble identifying in others.  But Donald Trump in June of 2015 was an actor who gave speech extraordinarily misleading, divisive, and important.

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