Matthew McConaughey on Political Divisiveness: 'Let's Get Aggressively Centric'
Well, readers, seems Matthew McConaughey is most certainly not alright alright alright with some of his liberal Hollywood colleagues, or the fake news of the right. Last week, the Dallas Buyers Club star appeared on comedian Russell Brand's podcast, Under the Skin, where he discussed the topic of the political divisiveness, taking shots the "illiberal left" for contributing to the phenomenon and the right's use of false information.
"There are a lot (of people) on that illiberal left that absolutely condescend, patronize, and are arrogant towards that other 50 percent," McConaughey, who says he's "in the middle" politically, told Brand when asked about whether "ordinary working people" are condemned and criticized in Hollywood. "I'm sure you saw it in our industry when Trump was voted in four years ago, they were in denial that it was real. Some of them were in absolute denial."
The Texan then went further in addressing why, exactly, "the left misses it ..." in his opinion, critiquing the nuances of left's voting messages ahead of the 2020 election. "At the very end of it they go, 'So, we don't let those criminal bastards get back in office.' You're like, 'No! Don't say the last part. You lost 50 percent of your audience.' And that's part of why so much of the nation of that 50 percent looks at us in Hollywood like, 'Oh yeah, another celebrity over there on the west coasters and the elite in the Northeast." It should be noted the actor did not mention Lil Pump's explicit encouragement of Lil Trump in the 2020 election.
Yet, being a true bipartisan "aggressively centrist,", the actor critiqued the right's approach to the 2020 election.
"It looks like Biden's our guy. Now you've got the right that's in denial, cause their side has fake news. And I understand, they've been fed fake news. No one knows what the hell to believe, right? So they're putting down their last bastion of defense."
The actor's solution to this divide? meeting in the middle. "It's a move to say 'no, le'’s get aggressively centric," he explained "I dare you. It's not a recession. It's an aggressive move."
Although this strategy seems amicable, enough to convince the actor to change his iconic catchphrase from "alright, alright, alright" to "alcenter, alcenter, alcenter," experts are divided on the issue of bipartisanship. In McConaughey's court? Former Brookings expert, Alice M. Rivlin. "In this divided country, if the two parties do not work together to find common ground, we are doomed either to gridlock or wild swings in policy -- and we will never address the hard challenges of climate change and rising debt, which demand bipartisan consensus to share the pain as well as the benefits," she wrote.
However not everyone agrees. In 2013, years before we found ourselves in this debacle, Philip Bump, a former politics writer for The Atlantic even describing centrist as "a purple-colored straw man," dubbing the label a vanity term. "Centrists love being centrists," Bump wrote. "In all things, really, but particularly in politics, there's an allure to being a member of a group tha's not beholden to prefabricated opinions."
Six years later, University of Mississippi History Professor April Holm translated this notion to the extreme age of Trump's presidency, noting that centrism "in times of moral crisis" is far from helpful. "Calls for moderation and civility, combined with denouncing both sides as too extreme, are common in moments of moral and political crisis," she wrote in The Washington Post. "But they are not apolitical. They take the focus away from injustice and put it instead on the behavior of those protesting it. This allows critics to adopt a moral high ground as the civil, reasonable ones without ever publicly taking sides in the debate. But as our own past has shown, neutrality in times of moral and political crisis is anything but neutral."
Regardless of how you feel about centrism, there is one thing most all of us can agree upon -- the mere concept of standing in the middle is a divisive political statement within itself.