[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.”
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.”