In an extensive interview with Playboy magazine, actor Vince Vaughn sounded off on his libertarian politics, the Second Amendment, and affirmative action.
Sitting down with Playboy contributing editor David Hochman, Vaughn, who shot to fame after starring in 1996’s Swingers and then parlayed his comedic talent and natural charisma into a blockbuster career as a member of the “Frat Pack,” explained that he is a libertarian Ron Paul supporter, owns a gun for self-defense, and believes affirmative action is racist.
“I would use the term libertarian to describe my politics,” Vaughn said.
I like the principles of the Constitution and the republic, which is a form of government built around the law. A republic did very well in Rome until they got a lot of central power and Caesar decided he knew what was best for everyone. That type of government works if you’re looking to start welfare programs, if you’re going to conquer the world and use force a certain way. But even back then, it didn’t work. More and more people went on the dole and others went bankrupt, and businesses couldn’t afford to pay their staff.
When asked if he would support Ron Paul should he decide to run in the 2016 presidential election, Vaughn unleashed this:
I’m a very big fan, yes. Ron Paul woke a lot of people up to the fact that government can’t handle everything for you. Once you start playing that game, where does it stop? I like the way it was until 1913 [when the 16th Amendment was ratified, legalizing a federal income tax], when locally you had sales taxes and property taxes. That seems ethical to me, because I can move to a different neighborhood or area if I like the services they provide. To this day, your police department and your fire department are paid for with local taxes, and that makes sense, because you might use those. But the federal government looking into your books to decide what to take from you, that feels wrong.
Trusting the federal government to know what we need and to run things well feels like a bad idea. You see that in the foreign policy of force, where the United States decides to go into another country to make things turn out a certain way. It doesn’t work. It causes more problems. Just look at any of these undeclared wars. You’re suggesting at gunpoint that you’ll decide how things will go. The results haven’t gone well. I’ve been over to Afghanistan and Iraq. I’ve been with the USO. I’ve gone over with movies and done stuff. I care a lot about all the kids and families in those situations. It can’t be easy. But I don’t agree with a foreign policy that says you can send troops places without declaring a war and without having a plan to win the war. I would think you would look at Vietnam and suggest it wasn’t the best-laid plan.
I feel the same way domestically. If you look at America today, there’s a real want to use force for the issues people believe in. You want whatever you believe in to become law. You’re going to make this drug legal and that one illegal. I don’t think that’s the government’s job to decide. I think it’s up to the individual. We’re all different. One kid is going to start drugs at a young age. Another person won’t touch the stuff. Another person will take a puff and go to sleep. We don’t all share the same consistent behavior, and the individual should be innocent until proven guilty. They should be allowed to decide what’s in their interest, what makes sense for them, unless they commit fraud or physical force or take someone’s property.
Hochman next asked Vaughn whether he owns a gun, to which the comedian replied in the affirmative.
“I believe in the right to defend yourself if need be,” Vaughn explained. “Hopefully you’re never in that situation, but I think you’re fairly naive to believe there will never be a cause for self-defense. But again, I believe it’s up to the individual.”
Vaughn’s most biting response perhaps came when he was asked about affirmative action.
“So you’re not a fan of affirmative action?” a seemingly incredulous Hochman asked the actor.
“I’ll answer that with a question,” Vaughn replied. “Do you believe that using race as a factor in evaluating a person is a good way to operate?”
“What happens when you start talking like this among the Obama-loving, Tesla-driving liberals of Hollywood?” Hochman asked.
“Ha! I have a lot of good friends, and if we can have a dialogue and hear each other’s opinions, that’s fine,” Vaughn said. “People’s opinions can change when you can say stuff, so I’m always up for a debate. Also, I’m not against Obama and his policies. I don’t have a problem with him personally or as a cool guy. I just don’t agree with his ideals or philosophies. I’m not a fan of central power.”
The comedian also discusses his career, his relationships, and his childhood in the wide-ranging Playboy interview. Check out the rest here.