I dread when leftist talk show host Bill Maher has celebrities, musicians and actors on his Real Time panels. They’re always such dead weight, totally unable to say anything intelligent or have any grasp of the issues. And politically they almost always argue from their position in Chomskyland. It’s just pure, endlessly pathetic radical chic.
That’s what I was expecting when I saw that Ashton Kutcher — star of “Dude, Where’s My Car?” and the celebrity prank show “Punk’d” –Â would be joining General Anthony Zinni and conservative columnist Ross Douthat for Maher’s chatfest. And I was stunned when those low expectations weren’t met. Instead Kutcher put forth sensible views and engaging, informed opinions on the issue of health care which brought some consensus to the table.
Discussing the issue of a greater need for an emphasis on promoting wellness instead of just treating sickness, Kutcher expressed a view on socialized medicine that hasn’t been discussed as much as it should:
“Frankly, I don’t want to pay for the guy who’s getting a triple-bypass because he’s eating fast food all day and deep-fried snickers bars. I don’t want to pay for him! Whether he’s wealthy or he’s not!”
He’s right. Should the taxpayer have to pay for other people’s unhealthiness? Should the taxpayer pay for the guy who smokes four packs of cigarettes a day and then gets emphysema?
Shortly following this witty outburst Maher decided he needed to find where everyone stood ideologically. He was probably beginning to detect that he was well to the left of everyone at his table:
Let me poll this panel. I don’t know what party you are.
Zinni stated clearly:
“American… No political affiliation.”
Then Kutcher revealed what was already becoming clear by his genuinely moderate, independent take on health care:
“I am a fiscally conservative, socially liberal independent.”
Turning then to Douthat:
“Well normally when I get into a situation like this I say something like I’m a conservative but I’m alienated from the Republican Party, but I feel like I have to take a stand — you know the Republican Party needs all the help it can get — I’ll say I’m a Republican.”
So Ashton emerges from the Hollywood closet: he’s not a leftist. He’s an independent with the brains to know that big government can’t save America. Hopefully his declaration wasn’t an incident of him “punking” us. Let’s cross our fingers that he doesn’t emerge next week with the admission that he’s actually a Maoist.