From petting a mountain lion while high on peyote to his father dying during sex, Matthew McConaughey’s seemingly never-ending press tour for his recently published memoir “Greenlights” has been full of revelations.
But perhaps nothing has drawn more attention than the actor’s comments about the current political divide in the United States.
On Russell Brand’s podcast last week, the “Dallas Buyers Club” star said he empathized with Trump supporters who wouldn’t accept the results of the presidential election partly because of how certain progressives “condescend, patronize and are arrogant towards the other 50%.”
Now, McConaughey is speaking out once again against what he calls the “illiberal left” and “extremes on both sides” of the political spectrum. In a conversation Tuesday with Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on “Good Morning Britain,” the actor touched upon topics such as cancel culture and freedom of speech.
“You need liberals. What I don’t think we need is the ‘illiberals,’” McConaughey said. “What I don’t think that some liberals see is that they’re often being cannibalized by the illiberals. Now, there are extremes on both sides that I think are unfair. … The extreme left and the extreme right completely illegitimize the other side, the liberal and the conservative side, which we need in certain places.”
McConaughey went on to claim that it’s “not fair” for Democrats and Republicans to “exaggerate [the other] side’s stance into an irrational state,” placing the blame at the feet of both parties.
“Where the waterline is gonna land on this freedom of speech and what we allow and what we don’t and where this cancel culture goes — where that waterline lands is a very interesting place that we’re engaged in right now as a society of trying to figure out,” he continued. “We haven’t found the right spot.”
The Oscar winner, who has previously described himself as “in the middle” politically, said elsewhere in the interview that he believes confronting different viewpoints is the only way to achieve unity.
“That’s when a democracy works really well,” he said. “I would argue we don’t have true confrontation right now, confrontation that gives some validation and legitimizes the opposing point of view. We don’t give a legitimacy or validation to an opposing point of view, we make it persona non grata, and that’s unconstitutional.”
McConaughey’s comments over the past few weeks have sparked some speculation about the actor’s own political aspirations.
On “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” earlier this month, the native Texan addressed reports that he was considering running for governor in his home state.
“I have no plans to do that right now, as I said. That would be up to a lot of other people,” McConaughey said, adding, “I don’t get politics. Politics seems to be a broken business. Politics needs to redefine its purpose.”
If McConaughey had his way, he would push for a science-backed centrist approach to find common ground and help bridge the political divide.
“I wanna say I’ll meet you in the middle,” he said on Brand’s podcast last week. “It’s a move to say, ‘No, let’s get aggressively centric. I dare you.’ It’s not a recession. It’s an aggressive move.”
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