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Calvin Freiburger

Celebs Butting Into Politics: Jon Voight Isn’t the Problem

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Posted on December 21 2010 5:09 pm
Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College. He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.
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They may be outnumbered by their leftist counterparts, but Hollywood does have its share of conservatives. Among the most vocal and unapologetic is Jon Voight, who appeared on last night’s “Hannity” (guest-hosted by the incomparable Mark Steyn to discuss President Barack Obama’s deadly ineptness on nuclear proliferation, as characterized by the White House’s precious START Treaty:

VOIGHT: I hear Obama trying to convince the American people that if we give up our nuclear weapons, this will set a fine example and all other countries will follow suit. What a dangerous and naive notion that is. If President Reagan wasn’t such a powerful force of strength, we never would have seen Premier Gorbachev take down the Berlin Wall […] every American citizen should be up in arms and calling their senators to reject this Obama’s START Treaty. It’s, you know, without our nuclear might, we would be subject to becoming a weak nation and what would follow would be much more severe than what we are currently going through with 9.6 unemployment, add that to the idea that our allies are very concerned about their safety and they are warning us not to reduce our nuclear power because their very protection is dependent on our strength.

At Mediaite, Mark Joyella is perplexed that Fox News would bring in a mere actor to discuss foreign affairs:

These are weighty issues, and fittingly, Fox News’ Hannity wasted no time Monday night rolling out just the right person to provide desperately needed perspective–a guy who’s literally been on the front lines in the war on terror as Jack Bauer’s father: Jon Voight.

Uh, what now? Introduced by fill-in host Mark Steyn as “the sanest man in Hollywood,” and asked him the critical question when you’re talking nuclear arms agreements with a guy best known for being in Deliverance and, of course, for doing his part to deliver unto the world Angelina Jolie: “is it even relevant to the world we’re living in today?”

I’ll be the first to agree that Voight’s insight is no substitute for that of, say, Steven Emerson or Daniel Pipes, and those of us on the Right who’ve been mocking empty-headed celebrity blowhards for opining beyond their expertise for years ought to be consistent and acknowledge that conservative actors, like liberal ones, have no greater political qualifications than the average American (though in Voight’s case, his opinion is at least informed by his own experiences at the other end of the spectrum).

Sean Hannity in particular overdoes it, but in the grand scheme of things, opinion programs showcasing the occasional celebrity opinion is no big deal. It’s when we start governing with the stars that we’ve got a real problem—see, for example, the EPA meeting with James Cameron, Stephen Colbert testifying before Congress, or Jon Bon Jovi joining Obama’s new community-organizing board. Poke fun at Hannity’s star-studded guest lists all you like, but let’s keep in mind who’s really subjecting the most critical issues of the day to the wisdom of Hollywood.

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Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College.  He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.

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