As I was being interviewed recently at my Texas ranch by Geraldo Rivera, I thought back over my four decades in acting and how the pool of conservative "tough guys" seems to be drying up in Hollywood. Or are liberal waters just getting too hot for conservatives?
Then I recalled that The Washington Times recently reported, "A group of politically conservative and centrist Hollywood figures (up to 600 at once) organized by actor Gary Sinise and others has been meeting quietly in restaurants and private homes, forming a loose-knit network of entertainers who share common beliefs like supporting U.S. troops and traditional American values." But the article also noted that the secret is out on these clandestine meetings, as conservatives progressively are becoming more and more emboldened.
In a so-called age of tolerance, it amazes me just how intolerant some people are of those who stand for traditional values. For example, if I stand against California's memorializing of Harvey Milk Day or stand for California's Proposition 8, which would create an amendment to the California Constitution to safeguard heterosexual purity in marriage (which I do support and encourage Gov. Schwarzenegger and all Californians to do the same), I'm considered by many to be intolerant and a bigot. But if another actor takes just the opposite positions on those measures, he is considered to be compassionate and a liberator. Or when a liberal candidate, such as Hillary Clinton, runs for president, her candidacy is considered a fulfillment of civil rights and women's suffrage. But when a conservative candidate, such as Sarah Palin, runs for vice president, she's considered a radical right-wing extremist who could usurp the Capitol by toting rifles at her side.
This is America, and we should respect the fact that we will have strong, diverse opinions, and we must allow one another the freedom of speech to air such opines, not suppress them through peer pressure of any type like children. I have many acting friends and many friends in politics. I vehemently disagree with some of them, and that is my American right, as it is theirs. We must agree to disagree agreeably, without blogging about or denigrating someone's life and character before the nation and rest of the world. We must do better at keeping the focus on the fact that we are Americans first; we are not just conservatives and liberals.