When actor Vince Vaughn was introducing current Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul at the Liberty Political Action Conference
last September, someone from the crowd interrupted and yelled, "brave actor!"
Vaughn, being the pro he is, finished undeterred, going on to describe his long standing relationship with Rep. Paul. Looking at the crop of actors and artists who have thrown out their support for Paul in recent months, one has to wonder if Vaughn started all this and whether he was a "brave actor" when he dared to stand for something opposing the liberal Occupy Wall Street mentality of Hollywood celebrities.
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The "Swingers" star stood for capitalism and his own conservatism in front of that audience, and it seems to have sparked a sudden movement in Hollywood of celebrities supporting the capitalism loving, libertarian leaning Paul. But, does this mean a change in Hollywood from the liberal, Obama worshipping place we know it as?
Heck, if Oliver Stone can publicly state he'd vote for Paul
over President Barack Obama, then Hollywood is truly in uncharted political waters.
To be fair, Ron Paul is no George W. Bush. Hell, he's no Ronald Reagan, either. Paul is admittedly more of a libertarian than a religious-based conservative, but he always has been. He's been the man preaching sound economics and praising Ayn Rand principles since before the '80s. And now, after a financial crisis, we have a new generation of conservatives who care for individual liberties above all else, and it seems a few of them are Hollywood celebrities. We even recently got a film adaptation of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged."
Paul may not be as modernly Republican as, say, Rick Santorum, but it means something to see actors/artists support a man who preaches doing away with income tax completely and that the self-interest principles taught by philosophers like Rand can lead to peace and prosperity for all as opposed to the nanny states proposed by sitting president Obama. Seeing celebrities stand for this shows them going against the socialist-loving Hollywood they inhabit. It may not mean a complete change, but think about the people that have come out for Paul who we never would've guessed would've held individualistic or conservative principles.
The biggest endorsement, besides Vaughn, was probably from Kelly Clarkson, winner of the first season of "American Idol." She announced her support of the congressman through Twitter. Not long after, she was attacked almost endlessly by people claiming Paul was ridiculous things like racist. Singer-songwriter Michelle Branch also tweeted her support of Paul to Clarkson. The "Idol" veteran stood her ground and was rewarded the next day when her "Stronger" album sales jumped a supposed 600 percent after Paul supporters rewarded her statement with their record-buying dollars.
Paul also appeared on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" where comedian and "Fear Factor" host Joe Rogan came out with a Ron Paul 2012 T-shirt and began praising the congressman and his views on everything from economics to civil liberties. Paul also garnered endorsements from former Catwoman Julie Newmar, who claimed before Paul that she never would have voted for a Republican let alone someone from Texas. Similar comments were shared by Juliette Lewis from TV's "The Firm," who made clear that she wasn't a Democrat or a Republican before endorsing Rep. Paul.
Paul's supporters have also apparently been trying to drum up a bit of celebrity support for the congressman without the celebrities' consent. Nicole Sherzinger's, Rise Against's and No Doubt's Twitter accounts were all allegedly hacked tweeting support for the congressman. All have since denied such endorsements and set the record straight.
Stone's Paul shoutout
marks the most surprising Hollywood connection.
I think in many ways the most interesting candidate – I’d even vote for him if he was running against Obama – is Ron Paul. Because he’s the only one of anybody who’s saying anything intelligent about the future of the world.
It appears the man is able to garner support from everyone from Vaughn who claim to be conservative to those like Stone who make propaganda films supporting dictators like Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro. Ironically, a world where Paul was president would be the exact opposite of these dictatorships considering his enduring belief in the individual, rather than the state/government.
What does any of this mean for Hollywood? Not much, really. Hollywood is still quite a partisan place where people are ostracized for making blockbusters about Jesus Christ.
The Paul movement does show some celebrities are willing to come out and stand for the fact that they make money and don't need the government telling them what to do when it comes to helping their fellow man. Such statements can be considered radical when put in the context of a Hollywood that is filled with people praising murderers like Hugo Chavez while making demeaning and evil comments about former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin.
Paul may be more of a libertarian than anything, but so are many Tea Partiers of today and, apparently, some of them live in the Hollywood community, whether they identify themselves as conservative, liberal, etc. It used to be bad to come out and say you were for making money and ambition and individualism and against government control when you worked in Hollywood. I'm sure it still is, but clearly some artists and actors have the will power to stand up for their individualistic and libertarian principles, and the key factor behind that may be Paul.