George Clooney: I Am a Liberal
George Clooney has a piece at HuffPo entitled, “I Am a Liberal. There, I Said It!” As if anyone doubted that he was a liberal. Or as if it take some great act of courage for a Hollywood actor to come out as one. Please.
Clooney is a likable fellow and a decent actor. I liked him on E.R. and have liked him in the movies of his that I’ve seen, especially the “Ocean’s 11” movies and “Three Kings.” Indeed, I even liked his “Batman,” a group that numbers in the dozens. Frankly, I don’t care about his politics.
Unfortunately, he continues his proclamation by implying those who are not “liberals” are racist misogynists.
Too many people run away from the label. They whisper it like you’d whisper “I’m a Nazi.” Like it’s dirty word. But turn away from saying “I’m a liberal” and it’s like you’re turning away from saying that blacks should be allowed to sit in the front of the bus, that women should be able to vote and get paid the same as a man, that McCarthy was wrong, that Vietnam was a mistake.
So, who is it in American politics who believes blacks should sit in the back of the bus? Or that women sholdn’t be allowed to vote? Or get paid the same as a man if they’re actually doing the same job? No one that I know of. Indeed, these issues were resolved well before Clooney was of voting age.
There is still some debate as to whether McCarthy was “wrong,” I suppose, although not much. There are those who believe that there were indeed Communists in high places in the federal bureaucracy but virtually none who think McCarthy’s tactics were honorable. Almost everyone now agrees that Vietnam (a war that liberal presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson got us into and nominal conservative Richard Nixon got us out of, by the way) was a mistake, although some still believe the cause itself was just.
And, for me, one of the things we absolutely need to agree on is the idea that we’re all allowed to question authority. We have to agree that it’s not unpatriotic to hold our leaders accountable and to speak out.
This, too, is something that almost all agree on. There is debate on how one goes about it, especially when we have troops in harm’s way. But there were liberals who used that argument when conservatives were challenging the wisdom of various military adventures undertaken by the Clinton administration. Let’s not confuse overheated rhetoric for ideology.
Crossposted to OTB: Gone Hollywood.