Prison Experience Ended Robert Downey Jr.'s Liberalism

[quote]“I have a really interesting political point of view, and it’s not always something I say too loud at dinner tables here, but you can’t go from a $2,000-a-night suite at La Mirage to a penitentiary and really understand it and come out a liberal. You can’t. I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone else, but it was very, very, very educational for me and has informed my proclivities and politics every since.”

Here’s a literal example of someone getting sense knocked into him. While in prison Downey got knocked out in fights.

“If I see somebody who is throwing their life away with both hands and is raging around and destroying their family, I can’t understand that person,” he said. “I’m not in that sphere of activity anymore, and I don’t understand it any more than I understood 10 or 20 years ago that somehow everything was going to turn out O.K. from this lousy, exotic and dark triple chapter of my life. I swear to God I don’t even really understand that planet anymore.”

Mr. Downey, who has said that he woke up in a pool of his own blood a time or two when he was in prison, is a fighter. “Probably the biggest thing that Tony Stark and I have in common is the hardware of conflict, the courage under fire,” he said, setting aside his lunch on a tray. “I don’t really fit in so good outside the military bases with my mentality.”

[/quote]

parapundit.com/archives/005162.html

nytimes.com/2008/04/20/movies/20carr.html?_r=2&pagewanted=2&8dpc&oref=slogin

I am still a liberal and the thing I fear the most about prisons are what the other prisoners will do to me. So many anecdotes that I’ve heard about that topic and I will not discuss them here.

I do not see how getting beat up in prison makes one abidicate liberalism, but maybe he wasn’t a “liberal” just a “limosine liberal.”

A “limosine liberal” is a liberal…they just have money and tend to be more hypocritical than other liberals. :shrug:

I was wondering about Downey’s politics. I read the interview he did in GQ, and they mentioned a picture of him with President and Mrs. GW Bush on his refridgerator which is, of course, a clue. However, it didn’t mention anything else about his political views or affiliation. I have always liked his acting, and I hope that he has finally overcome his addictions.

I’m looking forward to Iron Man, and I hope it doesn’t disappoint! :thumbsup:

Just my opinion but maybe it had to do with the victim rationalization that liberalism tends to foster. :shrug:

Yep…as the article quotes, “a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged.” It is the difference between theoretical and reality. When you become an actual “victim,” you realize that people need to take responsibility for their actions. Downey probably realizes that his drug abuse and stupidity were something that he was responsible for, and that his fellow inmates who beat the heck out of him likewise needed to take responsibility for their lives.

Most of those “Hollywood liberals” are just “limosine liberals”, they want the rest of us to give away our money (via taxes), while they still buy $100 underwear and live in multimillion dollar mansions (the exception being Ed Begley Jr., that guy actually practices what he preaches, environmentally wise) and put all their money in off shore accounts so the feds can’t touch it.

In Christ,

Ellen

Well Said!

anyone who could embrance just one wing of the political spectrum, left or right and think their group is the most correct, has the better answer is also going thru life using one side of their brain.

Most of those “Hollywood liberals” are just “limosine liberals”, they want the rest of us to give away our money (via taxes), while they still buy $100 underwear and live in multimillion dollar mansions (the exception being Ed Begley Jr., that guy actually practices what he preaches, environmentally wise) and put all their money in off shore accounts so the feds can’t touch it.

In Christ,

Ellen

A “limosine liberal” is a liberal…they just have money and tend to be more hypocritical than other liberals.

I think George Soros is also an exception of a wealthy “liberal” who has money.

The main difference between me and other people who have amassed this kind of money is that I am primarily interested in ideas, and I don’t have much personal use for money.** But I hate to think what would have happened if I hadn’t made money: My ideas would not have gotten much play.**

en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_Soros

A friend who asked not to be identified said that Soros was so uninterested in money that he often travelled with an empty wallet, forcing friends to loan him cash for cab fare, which he invariably forgot to pay back. Women, the friend said, flocked to him, “because they expect him to leave hundred-dollar bills in their pocketbooks. But he never does.” Soros’s second wife, Susan, from whom he is separated, sumptuously decorated the couple’s Fifth Avenue apartment and an estate in Bedford, New York. But Soros spoke with indifference of the Sargent and Whistler paintings they owned.

“Money is just a tool for him,” the friend said. “It’s how he manipulates a lot of things in his life.” Indeed, when I asked Soros to name one thing in the world that he wished he could have, he replied with a laugh,“If I want it, I own it.” He paused. “But I do want something,” Soros finally said, his smile fading.** “I want my ideas to be heard.”**

newyorker.com/archive/2004/10/18/041018fa_fact3?currentPage=6

Soros spends more on politics than on himself. Although his family has many homes, including an apartment, a beach house and a country house in the New York area, Soros is no Donald Trump. He has neither jet nor yacht, neither art collection nor retinue.

People fear Soros because they don’t understand his motives, says Leon Botstein, president of Bard College and a longtime Soros adviser. "The average person asks, ‘What’s in it for him?’ " Botstein says. “They cannot imagine that if they were that rich, they would be that generous.”

usatoday.com/news/politicselections/nation/president/2004-06-01-soros-cover_x.htm

George Soros owns no private plane, no Caribbean island, no yacht, no ranch in the West, no collection of Old Masters. When he travels to Budapest, the city where he was born and survived the Nazi occupation, he stays in an unfashionable hotel that happens to be nestled in the middle of a beautiful park where he can go for vigorous walks. He travels solo, his wife preferring to stay in the U.S. while he tours his international philanthropic empire. Walking onto a stage in Europe, he is illuminated by the flashes of little pocket cameras that audience members hold over their heads. But offstage he waits in line at the bar for his Campari like everybody else, looking a little lost. He is naturally reserved, and that is somehow accented by his precise Central European inflections. In a public setting he can appear strikingly alone, even lonely, a private man who has found himself living a very public life.

His demeanor belies his influence. George Soros is one of the most successful investors of all time. Even now, though he manages little or no money besides his own, he can move markets with a ten-minute appearance on cable television. Detractors have accused him of destabilizing world currencies and wrecking the economies of entire nations. He is appealing a French conviction for insider trading. He has received humanitarian awards too numerous to count.

money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2003/10/27/351671/index.htm

I think Soros is actually sincere since he does not pursue a hedonistic life although he certainly has the means to do it. He has donated a significant portion of his fortune to promote “open society” - an ideal advocated by the philosopher of science Karl Popper. Soros had personally witnessed the horrors of a fascist regime and he is rather fortunate that he did not become a victim. Such an experience made receptive to Karl Popper’s ideas because he an “open society” acknowledges our own fallibility and rejections the notion that humans can know the truth with absolute certitude. As a result, such a philosophy is conducive for the tolerance of differing ideas.

Most people don’t. They often pick one of the two major parties because they tend toward one side or the other, but the spectrum does not have an even distribution. The very conservative and very liberal are two small groups - the rest of us are in the large, middle part of the bell curve.

And, btw…people who are closer to the ends of the spectrums are using their brains just fine. There is no reason for you to demean their mental capabilities and/or pretend your’s is superior. Get over yourself.

Extremists are generally less reliable, because they tend to be more ideologically bound than moderates.

The only problem I have with some self-proclaimed “moderates” is the incredible pride they exhibit by claiming the superiority of their “balanced,” “reliable,” ideologically transcendent positions. So, you are moderate…so what? :shrug: Most people are. It doesn’t make you better than anyone else…including those who you want to describe as “ideologically bound” so you can puff yourself up.

From what I have read, Downey was pretty liberal before his prison experience (perhaps he was “ideologically bound” at that time :rolleyes: ). Reality smacked him around, and now he is…? Who knows? Is he an “ideologically bound” conservative? Is he a moderate? One thing is for certain - he is smart enough not to talk about it too much. :stuck_out_tongue:

The only problem I have with some self-proclaimed “moderates” is the incredible pride they exhibit by claiming the superiority of their “balanced,” “reliable,” ideologically transcendent positions.

Sounds like what Julius Pfieffer called the “radical middle.” That’s just another form of extremism. He once parodied it by showing Nixon dealing with racism by bringing in bigots of all colors, and expecting a sort of automatic moderation to ensue.

That’s just finding the middle ground and assuming it’s right. I am, for example, pretty far to the libertarian side, because I believe that no human can handle unrestrained power without becoming evil.

But there is no rational position that can’t be carried to extremes and made irrational. And the guys out there on all extremes of the spectrum are the ones who are the problem.

So, you are moderate…

In many things. Personal responsibility and freedom, are probably the things I’m most extreme on, but I do see a limited role for government, and some degree of corportate responsibility in society.

so what?

Not much. There’s more to life than rationality. It can save you a lot of grief, though.

It doesn’t make you better than anyone else…

Ah I see. There’s no need to be defensive about it. Just try to be rational about it. It doesn’t mean you are less than other people.

But if you have a large number of extreme positions, it does suggest that you should do some thinking about why that is.

including those who you want to describe as “ideologically bound” so you can puff yourself up.

It’s true. Not long ago, a study showed that the more extreme one is, the more likely one is to be ideologically bound.

From what I have read, Downey was pretty liberal before his prison experience (perhaps he was “ideologically bound” at that time ).

Probably so. Extremists, when they change, tend to go to the opposite extreme. Think Ariana Huffington. Ronald Reagan.

Reality smacked him around, and now he is…?

On the other extreme? It’s part of the syndrome.

Who knows? Is he an “ideologically bound” conservative?

Possibly. I don’t pay much attention to the lives of actors. My experience is that they don’t have a very firm tether to reality. Possibly, it’s why they are good actors.

Is he a moderate? One thing is for certain - he is smart enough not to talk about it too much.

Probably a good idea.

In general people are rather ideological about what they care about. In all else, will tend to be moderate.

exactly

This sounds like a legitimate change of perspective to me. Label it as you will, many do not understand how truly evil some people can be and how low they will sink. A lot of idealism goes out of the window with an understanding of the worst of the worse. Most in prison aren’t that bad, but those that are can be incredibly evil.

You left out the other part , or the article did. " A liberal is a conservative who was arrested. " I don’t like conservatives or liberals. I recognize my parents, the Pope, and crowned heads. I don’t know what sort of authority they are talking about, it looks like a nest of theives and mercinaries to me. And if Hollywood is Sodom, Gommorah is Washington.:smiley:

That is an interpretation of the “liberal who has been mugged” saying

Another could be that due to our fallen nature it is easy to push us to more selfish behaviors.

Or the more general axiom “human behavior will rise or drop to the expectations of those around them”.

Stick someone in an “every man for himself” environment an odds are he’ll start acting that way. Downey’s experiences might have been different if he was looked up in a monastery or a barracks for a year instead of a prison.

It isn’t a liberal or conservative thing. It is a human thing.

I do recall a story of Someone who forgave those who beat the heck out of Him.

PS I saw Iron Man last Saturday
it was cool :cool:

I’ve usually thought that prisons are not rehabilitative. Given Downey’s experience I’m rethinking my position. If it can make a liberal grow up it can’t be all bad.

CDL

That’s an interesting take on it. I have no idea whether Mr. Downey is more or less selfish than he was before. There are selfish liberals and conservatives…as you say “it is a human thing.” There is a difference in the belief of “individual responsibility for one’s actions” and “every man for himself.” The first was my characterization of Downey’s possible change, and it is not a sign of “selfishness.”

[quote=steveandersen]PS I saw Iron Man last Saturday
it was cool :cool:
[/quote]

I agree! Great flick.

Yes, but there can be a lot of overlap.

Although I’m not sure why you would think that “individual responsibility for one’s actions" is necessarily conservative

It was the Liberals after all who gave us universal suffrage and* laze fare* capitalism; while conservatives are often identified with communitarian ideals and the notion of being part of a larger whole.

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