Yesterday morning I saw this missive on @RealJamesWoods Twitter account. The post doesn’t originate from actor and die-hard Republican martyr James Woods, but he was glad to share it. The purpose is to show the intellectual superiority of Conservatives over Liberals, confusing Democrats with liberals and Republicans with Conservatives while spreading misinformation.
Let’s begin with the obvious: Russell Crowe was born in New Zealand and is a citizen of New Zealand. While he may be a liberal, he cannot vote in the US. New Zealand is also dominated by two parties, but they are National and Labour, not Republican and Democrat. Neil Young is a Canadian citizen; he did discuss the presidential elections, but mostly because Donald Trump used a specific song. Young cannot vote in US elections.
According to Merriam Webster, this usage of Liberal means:
a : of, favoring, or based upon the principles of liberalism
b capitalized : of or constituting a political party advocating or associated with the principles of political liberalism; especially : of or constituting a political party in the United Kingdom associated with ideals of individual especially economic freedom, greater individual participation in government, and constitutional, political, and administrative reforms designed to secure these objectives.”
1: the quality or state of being liberal
2a often capitalized : a movement in modern Protestantism emphasizing intellectual liberty and the spiritual and ethical content of Christianityb : a theory in economics emphasizing individual freedom from restraint and usually based on free competition, the self-regulating market, and the gold standard (see gold standard 1)c : a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy (see autonomy 2) of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties; specifically : such a philosophy that considers government as a crucial instrument for amelioration of social inequities (such as those involving race, gender, or class)d capitalized : the principles and policies of a Liberal (see 1liberal 6b) party
The possibility that someone can be a liberal Republican was addressed in an anecdotal essay in 2009, “Yes, Virginia, There are Liberal Republicans.” A more recent article from “The American Prospect” also noted “Liberal Republicans–They’re Alive!”
Getting back to the list, let’s look at the side of the supposed Liberal/Democrats. First, Scarlett Johansson reportedly graduated from the Professional Children’s School. Leonardo DiCaprio, Katy Perry, Chris Rock, Richard Schiff, Christina Aguilera, Miley Cyrus, Charlie Sheen, Jim Carrey, Cher, John Travolta, Pink and Eminem have all reportedly received GED. Rock reportedly dropped out of school due to bullying at a predominately white school. Perry completed her GED at 15. Pierce Brosnan reportedly graduated from the Drama Center London.
James Woods was an MIT dropout, but Tom Scholz, founder of the band Boston, graduated with a master’s in mechanical engineering. Scholz supported Barack Obama and was upset in 2008 when Republican Mike Huckabee used the song “More Than a Feeling.” Scholz invented the Rockman portable guitar amplifier.
James Voight may have earned a bachelors from the Catholic University of DC, but so did Susan Sarandon and, although I’m not sure of his politics, my favorite faux Nazi, Henry Gibson. Chris Saradon (AKA Prince Humperdinck in “Princess Bride”) earned an MFA.
Duck Commander CEO Willie Robertson might have graduated from Northeast Louisiana University, but so did the mayor of Monroe, LA, Jamie Mayo (Democrat) and the late journalist Charles Kuralt (whose political affiliation I am not sure of).
Nick Searcy may have graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, but so did comedian Ken Jeong who did a video called “Donald Decoded” for the Democratic National Convention. Jeong graduated at 16, went on to study at Duke University before going to UNC at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and is a licensed physician in California. Why not include him on the Democrat/Liberal side? Cherry picking?
Dean Cain and Brooke Shields may have graduated from Princeton, but Shields supported Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Jodie Foster attended Yale University and graduated magna cum laude. Yale has graduates from both parties including George H.W. Bush, Bob Woodward, Meryl Streep (MFA), Bill Clinton (J.D.), Hillary Rodham Clinton (J.D.), Anderson Cooper, Edward Norton and Ben Stein (J.D.).
Adam Sandler graduated from NYU, but so did Billy Crystal, Matthew Morrison, Matthew Gray Gubler (MFA), Spike Lee (MFA) and Ang Lee (MFA, and self-described as a permanent resident). Julie Bowen graduated from Brown as did Davis Guggenheim and John Krasinski, both of whom I cannot confirm party affiliation. Republican Tom Selleck was, like me, a USC grad, but so was George Lucas and Robert Zemeckis. Zemeckis donated to Obama in 2009. Lucas proposed an anti-Trump commercial:
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson graduated from the University of Miami, but he supported Obama. Rip Torn graduated from Texas A&M, but so did Felicia Day and Renée Zellweger.
There are also Republican celebrities who didn’t graduate from high school such as Bo Derek, Sonny Bono, Mike Tyson, Scott Baio and Joe Perry (Aerosmith). Jessica Simpson dropped out of high school, but later completed her GED. Tila Tequila, Lou Ferrigno, Bruce Willis, Hulk Hogan, Wayne Newton and Gary Busey didn’t graduate from college.
Of course, some geniuses do not need college degrees. Bill Gates quit Harvard after two years to found Microsoft. Steve Jobs didn’t finish college but along with Steve Wozniak (UCBerkeley), Jobs founded Apple. There are successful people who didn’t graduate from college.
Being smarter or better educated doesn’t necessarily make one a better person or one’s political party better. We as US citizens and US residents need to listen to one another and to respect one another in order to work with one another.
Last week I was moved by an exchange between former President Bill Clinton and former President George W. Bush (starts on the video at 16:00). I believe what these two former presidents have to say could teach us how to move forward, not to make the US great but to make the world better.