Monday, March 13, 2006

Why Can't Democrats Be More Like George Clooney?

I enjoyed George Clooney's Oscar acceptance speech, where he essentially said he's proud to be out of touch if it means standing up to social injustice. He used his 60 seconds of attention to "speak truth to power" yet remained classy and understated in doing so.

He just wrote up the following defense of liberalism, and I now officially admire the man. He obviously values making the world a better place more than protecting his celebrity and fame, a choice that very few people make.

And why does it take an actor to defend liberalism like this? Where are the Democrats, for crying out loud?

George Clooney:

I am a liberal. And I make no apologies for it. Hell, I'm proud of it.

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. And that Saddam Hussein had no ties to al-Qaeda and had nothing to do with 9/11.

This is an incredibly polarized time (wonder how that happened?). But I find that, more and more, people are trying to find things we can agree on. 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.

That's one of the things that drew me to making a film about Murrow. When you hear Murrow say, "We mustn't confuse dissent with disloyalty" and "We can't defend freedom at home by deserting it at home," it's like he's commenting on today's headlines.

The fear of been criticized can be paralyzing. Just look at the way so many Democrats caved in the run up to the war. In 2003, a lot of us were saying, where is the link between Saddam and bin Laden? What does Iraq have to do with 9/11? We knew it was bullshit. Which is why it drives me crazy to hear all these Democrats saying, "We were misled." It makes me want to shout, "Fuck you, you weren't misled. You were afraid of being called unpatriotic."

Bottom line: it's not merely our right to question our government, it's our duty. Whatever the consequences. We can't demand freedom of speech then turn around and say, But please don't say bad things about us. You gotta be a grown up and take your hits.

I am a liberal. Fire away.


cmunit said...

Regarding statement "PROUD-TO-BE-OUT-OF-TOUCH", writers, bloggers, and ideas are needed to develop / launch / promote the following fair-and-balanced domains.




Dan S said...

I love it! Tell me more...

The Decider said...

You know that this was cobbled together by Huffington from previous statements made by Clooney, not written per se by Clooney. Apparently Clooney's people didn't know what a blog was and said, sure, she could post his comments. She has since apologized for doing it.

Dan S said...

Yea, I did see that. Oh well - the words are his though, even if he didn't write it in blog form.

It does make me wonder what is legit on the Huffington site and what isn't.

Ghetto Prince said...

Wow... I had this really big post to make. Then I read the other comments about that being "pieced together." :(

Oh well, someone should contact him and he should say those things. :)