Thirty Rock Star For President

January 5, 2011 at 12:46 pm 7 comments

Alec Baldwin

Image via Wikipedia

Actors becoming politicians is nothing new. Clint Eastwood was the mayor of Carmel, Arnold Schwarzeneger the governor of California, and Ronald Reagan was our President. Now, according to a new internet news story, Alec Baldwin would like to try his hand at being a public servant.

This should be good news for me, I know. I know what Alec Baldwin’s political views are, and we agree on a lot of issues. He frequently blogs on The Huffington Post, and he’s actually a pretty decent writer and an intelligent guy.

However, I greet this announcement with the same skepticism that any Republican should feel if Mel Gibson decided to run for the United States Senate. Gibson is almost guaranteed to be politically conservative. But if you were a Republican (and maybe you are) would you want him representing you? Probably not.

Why? Because Mel Gibson is, in a word, whack. This guy is deeply, deeply disturbed. Any two year old can tell that by just looking at the photos on the tabloid covers in the supermarket.

A few years ago someone released a tape of Baldwin yelling at and berating his daughter Ireland. I wouldn’t talk to my dog the way Baldwin talked to his daughter. Baldwin and his ex, Kim Bassinger, have been battling it out in the courts forever about custody issues, with Baldwin accusing her of parental alienation.

And maybe it’s true. Who knows? He even cared enough to write a book on the subject. But after listening to him rant in a voicemail to Ireland most people probably concluded, like me, that Alec Baldwin didn’t need Kim’s help in alienating his daughter. He was doing fine at that on his own.

After that media frenzy life seemed to get normal for Baldwin, and he stayed out of the news for his personal life for quite a long time. Then, again, there’s weirdness with his daughter. As recently as February of this year mainstream news outlets like CBS were reporting that Baldwin was briefly hospitalized when he and Ireland had an argument on the phone that ended with him telling her that he was tired of this and that he was going to take some pills and end it. He then refused to answer his phone when his daughter called. So, she called 911, and the police showed up at Baldwin’s house.

Boys and girls, can you say manipulation? It’s the word for the day. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Choosing politicians is not just about their intellect and their beliefs and their knowledge of the subjects necessary to govern. I don’t question that Baldwin would probably be better qualified than many people who hold office in America on that score. But when we as Americans choose someone to represent us in public office we also want to know that that individual is sane and that his temperament is well suited to the position. If this is how he behaves with his own daughter, then what can we expect from him if he’s baited by a political competitor, or, God forbid, a foreign diplomat?

Howard Dean, an absolutely brilliant medical doctor with a promising political career, lost any hope in his presidential bid when he lost his temper during a concession speech following the Iowa caucus. This man had a career as a public servant already, and what happened is that he raised his voice, on camera, in front of a nation. His political ambitions were ruined. And maybe, even though Howard Dean was my favorite in the Democratic primaries that year, maybe he should have lost for that reason. He can’t control his temper. Do we want someone who can’t control his temper having access to “the button”?

So, to Alec Baldwin I say: Dude, you’re funny, you’re talented, you’re smart, and we agree on a lot of things. I might love to meet you for a coffee some time. But sadly, Alec, a career as a political leader is just not in your future anymore than it is in Christian Bale’s future. Give it up. You’ve blown it before you started because the American people might vote for an actor, but the American people will never vote for someone that they perceive as being mean, unhinged, or just plain nuts. Sorry.

Entry filed under: Celebrity, Entertainment, Manners, Media, Mental Health, Politics, Relationships, Social Commentary. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Amanda  |  January 5, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Oh, if we could only go back to the first half of his movie, “The Marrying Man”, and be done with him. Sadly, I do like him.

    Reply
    • 2. gooseberrybush  |  January 6, 2011 at 1:58 am

      Wanna hear something funny? “The Marrying Man” was a movie based on the relationship of Harry Karl and his wife Marie McDonald. And Harry Karl, after he divorced Marie for the last time, married Debbie Reynolds. And thus Harry Karl, later portrayed in the movies by Alec Baldwin, was Carrie Fisher’s stepfather growing up. Isn’t Hollywood “incestuous”? It’s fascinating.

      Reply
  • 3. Joe in Wynnewood PA  |  January 6, 2011 at 12:31 am

    re: lost any hope in his presidential bid when he lost his temper …
    Um, uh, no, he didn’t lose his temper or act like a loon. On the contrary, he struggled with a hoarse, tired voice to be heard above the din of several thousand cheering supporters after his unexpected 3rd place showing in the Iowa caucuses (in larger part due to getting shut out in many precincts due to a deal between Edwards and Kucinich to throw their support to the other in any precinct where they failed to meet minimum thresholds). Our awesome “liberal” media proceeded to reply over and over a dishonest version of the end of Dean’s remarks using the sound only from the unidirectional mike Dean was speaking into making it seem as though he were screaming in a quiet room, not a room where hardly anyone could hear him.

    Reply
    • 4. gooseberrybush  |  January 6, 2011 at 1:15 am

      Actually, Dean admitted in a televised interview with his wife after all the controversy that he has a temper. I checked and found sources on the internet before I published the piece, but you are right that it’s the perception of the public more than the actual temper that killed his political career. I still like Howard Dean, and I think that he might have made a great President. The point is that we’ll never know. I wouldn’t equate his speech with Baldwin’s behavior, certainly. It’s not on the same level. However, when we’re talking about the public’s perception, that’s what matters most here.

      More than the issues sometimes I think that the majority of Americans vote for the guy they like the best, i.e. the unfortunate 2000 campaign where George W. Bush “beat” Gore even though Gore won the popular vote. A lot of Americans saw George Bush as a likable fellow, whereas they saw Gore as an elitist stuffed shirt. The truth is that both men were born with silver spoons in their mouths, compared to most Americans that is. It’s just that Bush appealed to the public as an everyman.

      Reply
  • 5. Amanda  |  January 6, 2011 at 2:54 am

    I wonder if there will ever be a political figure that we can all agree on. Or at least dislike the least.

    Reply
  • 6. funandfiber  |  January 7, 2011 at 11:38 am

    I certainly agree with what you said. I don’t understand several things-1. why does it seem that most politicians are a bit whacked? I won’t pick out any names, but I live in New York, and our politicians have given the tabloids years worth of material.
    2. Why do people think that whacky personal lives don’t have any bearing on MAKING HUGE DECISIONS THAT WILL AFFECT MILLIONS OF PEOPLE? You can’t make good personal decisions, but you can make good political ones?

    Reply
    • 7. gooseberrybush  |  January 7, 2011 at 1:10 pm

      1. I guess the answer to this is that we’re all a bit whacked. I certainly wouldn’t want anyone going over my life or my thoughts with a fine tooth comb. I do think we have the right to disclosure from our politicians, but the scrutiny of the modern media makes it very difficult these days to apply for public office. That’s the best answer I can come up with on the matter. Very few people would qualify for public office if we don’t cut some slack here.
      2. I think that most people do think that whacky personal lives have a bearing on making huge decisions, hence, the media scrutiny. They wouldn’t produce it if we didn’t “eat” it up. And then I think there are those folks who think of Bill Clinton and JFK and FDR (FDR wasn’t a serial cheater or much of a whack but was guilty of adultery) and say that all three of those men did a fine job of running the country. The first two, especially, were whack. JFK and FDR had the good fortune of living with a pre-Watergate press that looked the other way about a multitude of personal issues. It was different times.

      I think, though, that you meant both those questions to simply be rhetorical. Of course a candidate’s personal life should have a bearing on one’s decision. We just have to remember to filter that through the lens of modern times and, if necessary, look at how he’s turned his life around and for how long he’s been walking the right path. Think of George W. Bush and his issues with alcohol and drugs. No one would want a lush or a cocaine addict running the country, but he’d been sober for many years. I hasten to add that I don’t think of him as an example of a good President, but some people do.

      Reply

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