One thing the left won’t abide is anyone or anything out of Hollywood not marching in lockstep with progressive heterodoxy. Actor Matthew McConaughey is the latest to draw the ire of the left-wing Gestapo for thought crimes because he called out the “illiberal left” for being arrogant towards 50 percent of the population and talked about the country getting “aggressively centrist” instead of divisively polarized.
McConaughey’s comments came out in early December but now the woke media are trying to tie them to the January 6 riots to imply that he was talking about compromising with violent insurrectionists.
Former basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote a column for The Hollywood Reporter on Friday entitled “Hollywood Won’t Heal American Divisiveness.” Hilariously, the “Hollywood” Abdul-Jabbar refers to is McConaughey and The Conners, a spin-off of Roseanne which exploded in popularity after Trump’s election because it was the only show to feature the perspective of middle American Trump voters. Somehow, over the thousands of celebrities and tv shows that have spewed Trump hatred over the last few years, he identified these two outliers that called for unity and understanding across the political spectrum as representing Hollywood. Worse than that, Abdul-Jabbar’s mad about it.
McConaughey complained about how the left paints half the country with a wide brush and then Abdul-Jabbar doubled down. Instead of correctly attributing extremism to a tiny fraction of Trump supporters, he smears all of them with the worst possible motives, declaring them “an existential threat:”
[McConaughey’s] “other 50 percent” declared with their vote that racism, misogyny and other forms of marginalization that take the lives, health and futures of millions of people aren’t as important as … what exactly? A wall? Confederate monuments? Athletes not kneeling? Not wanting to wear a mask? …
I’m aware that most of the 46.8 percent [of voters who went for Trump] are probably compassionate, kind and loving people to their friends, family and even local community. But their inability to see the bigger picture as it relates to people who don’t look like them, as well as to the integrity of our democracy, makes them an existential threat. These are the people who have given $200 million to Trump in order to fight a legitimate election that has shown no significant fraud. Yet, they continue to fund the erosion of democracy even though the goal is to disenfranchise the votes of minorities and the poor. They may not mean to, but that’s what they’re doing.
He went on to rage against Trump voters, presuming only the narrowest and craziest of reasons for their votes:
While McConaughey and The Connors [sic] may want to heal the wounds of a divisive election, they are minimizing what causes the divisiveness: 74 million didn’t think Black lives mattered enough; that even though everything the scientists predicted about COVID-19 happened, we still shouldn’t listen to them; that despite the fact that 19 women who [sic] accused Trump of sexual misconduct, women aren’t important enough to listen to; that not everyone’s vote should be counted, especially if they’re poor or people of color.
Abdul-Jabbar carries so much hatred in his heart for Trump voters that he turns compromise into a dirty word. “McConaughey claims the solution to political divisiveness is being ‘aggressively centric,’ to meet in the middle,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote before dismissing compromise as “what allowed slavery to continue in the United States long after it was abolished in most other countries.” So, now you’re no better than a slavery supporter if you want both sides to work together to form an agreement.
The Hollywood Reporter wasn’t the only outlet to take the actor to task. On Wednesday, The Daily Beast put out a hit piece on McConaughey claiming he “Keeps Flirting With Alt-Right Darlings.” Laura Bradley spent most of her article mocking the idea of “cancel culture” and the “illiberal left” as “boogeymen” and cast aspersions on McConaughey for doing podcasts with non-conformists like Russell Brand, Jordan Peterson and Joe Rogan in the promotion of his book.
There’re a lot of innocuous quotes from McConaughey that Bradley trusts her audience to be scandalized by because he doesn’t perform the standard lefty virtue signaling. For example, when McConaughey said after the inauguration that Hollywood had to recognize that Trump was the president and try to be constructive, Bradley noted disapprovingly, “Breitbart was thrilled with this response; others weren’t so ready to normalize the newly elected bigot in the White House.”
Like Abdul-Jabbar, Bradley tied McConaughey’s December comments to January’s storming of the Capitol, concluding, “It’s hard to imagine how, precisely, one might find a morally defensible centrist ‘middle ground’ between liberalism and white nationalism, but McConaughey has stayed fast in his insistence that we try anyway.” This seems to imply that McConaughey has reaffirmed his comments in the last week, but I haven’t been able to find any quotes on politics from him since the attack on the Capitol. Not that it was a good faith formulation to begin with, anyway.
Bradley seemed particularly irked by McConaughey’s use of the word “illiberal,” whining:
But “illiberalism” is a red herring, one that intellectually dishonest people use to bash people with whom they disagree without ever having to make an effort to understand their arguments. If McConaughey, Peterson and others really want to have meaningful conversations, they might start by re-thinking this useless smear.
The lady doth protest too much, methinks.