Matthew McConaughey is a cut above most political celebrities.
The Oscar winner is calm, measured and unwilling to demonize the mainstream Left or Right.
In a way, he’s everything we want in a celebrity sticking his neck out on the issues of the day. Except he just made the biggest mistake of his quasi-political life.
He chose a side. And he chose badly for more than a few reasons.
McConaughey’s recent gun control plea, made via the current White House’s invitation, won’t be easily forgotten. His policy suggestions proved generic and unlikely to move the needle on gun violence.
Then again, why would anyone expect the “Dallas Buyers Club” star to set forth any bold new agendas? He’s an actor, not a gun control expert. He brings a layman’s touch to the subject, meaning there’s little reason for him to even be on such an important political stage.
It’s one thing for a celebrity to share a hot take on Twitter. It’s another to travel to Washington, D.C. and demand said take be given the gravitas of a State of the Union address.
Figures like John Lott and Dana Loesch have been enmeshed in guns for years, if not decades. Agree or disagree with their opinions, they’ve studied the topic aggressively and offer sober insights.
What has McConaughey done to measure up?
More importantly, the star has been carefully straddling the line between Democrats and Republicans in recent years. He’s teased running for Texas governor, inserting himself into various narratives along the way.
And he’s done so without choosing a party. That’s no accident.
Embracing generic gun control platitudes, from the Biden White House pulpit of all places, changed that. And he did it at a moment when Team Biden is on its heels, pounded by terrible polling numbers and facing a Red Wave come November.
It’s not politically smart to back the wrong horse.
Not only did McConaughey pick a political side, but he also did so at the worst possible time. Today’s Democratic party doesn’t resemble the one President Barack Obama commandeered just a few short years ago.
It’s angry, uncompromising and beholden to its far-Left base. And that seems to clash with everything the actor represents.
The modern Left looks the other way when its side commits political violence, or it implicitly eggs it on. It gently nods as protesters descend on the homes of Supreme Court Justices, assuming the legal eagles lean to the Right.
The actor may not embrace those extreme measures, but his new party does. And how will Democrats take to McConaughey’s kinder, gentler approach? They’ll rage against his willingness to defend Trump voters, as he’s done in the past. They’ll steam over his inability to demonize the other side.
Conservatives offer a bigger tent today, witness Dr. Oz’s primary victory in Pennsylvania. Or, closer to Hollywood, look at how the Right rallies behind left-leaning comics like Ricky Gervais, Joe Rogan and Dave Chappelle.
No one fought harder for Rogan than the Right, and even he admitted as much.
Republicans might have made room for a center-leaning soul who just so happened to be a movie star. Democrats may cheer McConaughey on as he pushes more gun control measures, but every other time he opens his mouth they’ll demand he shut it, and fast.
The political neophyte will learn that lesson soon enough.