Robert Redford is fearful for our future.
No, the legendary actor/director isn’t worried about too many comic book movies overtaking Hollywood. He looks around at American culture and is frightened by what he sees.
What is going to happen with America? That is a good question that I don’t have an immediate answer to, only that I am worried. I think we’ve lost civility. I think we’ve lost a certain degree of passion. I think passion unfortunately is directed into negative areas. I think it would be nice if we could switch back to positive areas. There’s a lot to be positive about. We’re very lucky to be in this country considering where the world is.
Redford shared the comments while promoting “Pete’s Dragon.” The live-action remake of the Disney cartoon hits theaters August 12.
Left unsaid, by both Redford and every other Hollywood star critical of America in 2016, is the person currently in charge of the nation.
President Barack Obama.
The so-called Unifier in Chief has been anything but a healer. Yet Redford didn’t heap any blame on Obama.
More importantly, Redford ignores another elephant on the movie set. Civility was in short supply when George W. Bush sat in the Oval Office. The Bush = Hitler memes coated the Internet. Celebrities bashed Bush in the most aggressive ways possible.
It was rarely civil.
Yet it’s hard to recall Redford speaking out against the tone of those times. We’ve also yet to hear Redford, or any other prominent Hollywood star, speak out against the creeping fascism on college campuses.
We’d like to think Redford and his peers would be aghast that conservative speakers like Ben Shapiro and Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos are either banned from speaking at college campuses or treated like sub-humans once they arrive.
Yet so far the only sound we hear, with apologies to Simon & Garfunkel, is silence.
Redford is understandably worried about the state of America in 2016. He has every right to be. What would be better, though, is if he and his celebrity peers started using their clout to help matters.
Defend the Shapiros of the world. Visit college campuses and shame the students into hearing opposing points of view. Don’t be silent if those with whom you disagree get shouted down. Someday you may be next.
That won’t solve our current woes. Life in America is far too complicated, too messy. But it’s a tiny step toward a more civil society.