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.
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
Ben Shapiro observes that the rest of us understand exactly what Ted Cruz was talking about.
The media of New York City playing dumb on â€œNew York valuesâ€ while they look down their noses at the rest of the country is the height of ridiculousness.
Mark Twain knew what New York values were: â€œAll men in New York insult you–there seem to be no exceptions. There are exceptions of course–have been–but they are probably dead. I am speaking of all persons there who are clothed in a little brief authority.â€ That was in 1885. Nothing has changed.
New Yorkers are famous for being rude, socially liberal, in favor of big government, in favor of social leftism â€“ and most of all, convinced of their own superiority. This is why everyone hates Yankees fans.
There are wonderful things about New Yorkers, too. But when people say that someone is â€œNew Yorkâ€ outside New York, everybody knows what they mean, just as if they say that someone is â€œTexasâ€ outside Texas, everybody knows what they mean.
Any Iowa Banker knows what Cruz meant.
The editors of the New York Times are shivering with fright this Halloween season, but it is not some knife-wielding serial killer in a hockey mask that frightens them.
It is the specter of an intelligent and able Ivy-League-educated committed conservative.
His campaign has more cash on hand than that of any other Republican in the hunt. If you add â€œsuper PACâ€ money thatâ€™s been officially disclosed so far to the tally, he trails only Jeb and Hillary Clinton. …
Heâ€™s the patron saint of lost causes, at least if they bring the spotlight his way. In that sense heâ€™s emblematic of the flamboyantly uncompromising comrades in the so-called Freedom Caucus in the House of Representatives, who similarly confuse attention with accomplishment.
All of them, with Cruz as their spiritual leader, have turned petulance into a theory of governing, or rather anti-governing, as they breezily disregard the contradiction of their ravenous lunge to become monarchs of a kingdom that they supposedly want to topple, to gain power over a system that they ostensibly intend to enfeeble.
Cruz doesnâ€™t propose remedies. He performs rants. Heâ€™s not interested in collaboration or teamwork. His main use for other politicians, even in his party, is as foils and targets. Paul Ryan got a taste of that over the weekend, when Cruz, on NBCâ€™s â€œMeet the Press,â€ was asked if Ryan was a true conservative and dodged the question, withholding his blessing.
He should be careful about genuineness versus phoniness, given the problems with his own prairie-populist pose.
Cruzâ€™s law degree is from Harvard and he did his undergraduate work at Princeton, where the 250-year-old debating club that he belonged to is called the American Whig-Cliosophic Society. Cruzâ€™s wife is on leave from a job with Goldman Sachs.
Keep that in mind when he rails against the establishment and the elites. And remember that when someone is as broadly and profoundly disliked as Cruz is, itâ€™s usually not because heâ€™s a principled truth teller.