By Kyle | April 23, 2012
My esteemed colleague Stephen Whitty has an interview with John Cusack to plug “The Raven” (which was such a huge flop in the UK that, a month after it opened, I couldn’t find any theaters still showing it in London–and it opened in March). Whitty wonders whether opposing Obama from the left has hurt Cusack (Cusack says no, which isn’t surprising to me) and dubs Cusack “a radical.”
I don’t know whether Cusack is a radical or not, but nothing in the story speaks to the issue. Cusack, we learn in the story, opposes Guantanamo, denial of habeas rights to prisoners of war and the assassination of US citizens on foreign battlefields. I don’t agree, but reasonable people can differ. I don’t find Cusack’s to be “radical” positions. They were pretty much the default positions, until three years ago, of most Democrats and a big slice of libertarian-leaning Republicans. Cusack is sticking to these positions even though Obama hasn’t, and sees no particular reason to support Obama anymore.
This is what, to Whitty, seems to mark out Cusack as an extremist: That he puts principle above party. But if these are your issues, you’d be absolutely right to perceive no differences between the two main parties. There aren’t any to speak of, and it would be logical to abstain from voting or support some other candidate. Perhaps to not be a radical, you should simply be an opportunist who pretends to get exercised about certain issues in order to use them as a cudgel against the opposition party, then shut up about them when your party is in office.
By the way (contra the hundreds of times I’ve heard that “Smith makes everything about politics”), though Cusack and I do not vote the same way, I think he’s a good actor within certain parameters and I put his hilarious comedy “Hot Tub Time Machine” on my ten best list a couple of years ago.