The actor, well known for portraying Dick Cheney as a villain, provoked alarm in Hollywood by showing up last Saturday at a Ted Cruz rally in Iowa.
AMES, Iowa â€” Oscar-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss â€“ star of Jaws and Mr. Hollandâ€™s Opus â€“ was on hand, somewhat inexplicably. He quietly nabbed a reserved front-row seat as Cruz made his own entrance. Afterward, in a brief interview, he said he wasnâ€™t there to support Cruz and isnâ€™t supporting any candidate.
â€œItâ€™s the politics of my country, so Iâ€™m interested,â€ he said.
â€œNo,â€ he said, when it was pointed out that his presence suggested support. â€œIt suggests that Iâ€™m interested in what he has to say.â€
â€œWe come at it from different places. But he reveres the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. When you seek to be the president of a country that has 300 million people, you canâ€™t get everyone on the same platform. You canâ€™t. But if you can make it clear that the most important things are shared, then fine.â€
So upset with this evidence of ideological treason was the entertainment community that Dreyfuss’s son felt obliged to defend his father at the Puffington Host:
My father, actor Richard Dreyfuss, is taking heat for attending a Ted Cruz rally. I shouldn’t have to write this, but here goes: curiosity is not a sin.
My father went to a Ted Cruz rally. My father also won an oscar in the ’70s, and his name is Richard Dreyfuss. Those two things are only related because by virtue of being famous, my father’s attendance at a Cruz rally got written about by a couple of media outlets. Those write-ups were absorbed by a number of mouth-breathers, and so began The Dumb.
Let me clarify. When asked if his being there suggested he supported Cruz, he responded, “It suggests that I’m interested in what he has to say… It’s the politics of my country, so I’m interested.” This seems like a pretty clear answer to me. I don’t necessarily endorse these views, but I’m curious about them because they are poised to have a very big effect on me and my country.
But clarity be damned, the same day as those articles were published I started getting calls and complaints asking me why my father was a Ted Cruz supporter. This is where we should leave the story of “Richard Goes To Ted Talk” behind, and just start talking about the principle of the thing. I’m really not trying to talk about my dad. I just want to address The Dumb.
It is not shocking that people mistake curiosity with support, but it is pathetic and it is tragic.
If you can’t stand to listen to an idea, it does not prove that you oppose it. Refusing to show interest in a different perspective should not serve as a badge of pride in your own ideas. It actually serves the exact opposite function. It proves that you don’t even understand your own opinion. If you can’t understand the argument you disagree with, then you don’t have the right to disagree with it with any authority, nor do you really have a grasp on what your own idea means in its context.
I’m not saying all ideas need to be validated, or even respected. There are absolutely some beliefs that simply deserve to be tarred and feathered and never given the time of day. Bigotry falls under this umbrella. But when some ideas are so prevalent that they hold huge sway over your own country, you’re an idiot if you decide to stuff your ears with your fingers and start humming.
As Christopher Buckley noted on Facebook:
Wunst they wuz a little actor, an Oscar he din’t lose:–
An’ when he went to hear a speech by Texas Sen’r Cruz,
His fans was heerd ta holler, an’ the left was heerd to bawl,
An’ when sonny said “he’s curious!”, they din’t believe a’tall!
An’ they hounded him in Hollywood, an’ Twitter, an’ the press,
An’ angry talk’d at tha Whole Foods, an’ ever’-wheres, I guess;
But all they ever found wuz thist his pants an’ roundabout:–
An’ the Liber-urls ‘ll git you