In an interview with GQ on Wednesday, the highest-paid movie star in the world suggested he would be open to running for president.
“I think that’s a real possibility,” Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson from The Fate of the Furious (2017) told GQ’s Caity Weaver. “A year ago, it started more and more. There was a real sense of earnestness, which made me go home and think ‘Let me really rethink my answer and make sure I am giving an answer that is truthful and also respectful.'”
Indeed, last June, Johnson shared on Instagram a screenshot of a Washington Post article suggesting he could actually win the presidency.
View this post on Instagram
Interesting piece from The Washington Post on if I ran for POTUS I could actually win. Writer Alyssa Rosenberg did some pretty good research into my background (slave descendants fighting for their freedom, Revolutionary War etc). Much more to uncover but well done. 👍🏾 More and more pieces like this are popping up due to the Presidential election and they're cool/fun to read… I care DEEPLY about our county… and the idea of one day becoming President to create real positive impact and global change is very alluring. Buuuuut until that possible day, the most important thing right now is strong honest leadership from our current and future leaders of this country. Thanks again Washington Post. 🇺🇸 💪🏾
The Rock, who spoke at the Republican National Convention in 2000 and attended the Democratic National Convention that same year, identified himself as an independent. The 45-year-old wrestler-turned-actor has long flirted with a political bid.
Johnson did not attack President Donald Trump directly, but he insinuated that Trump’s poise is less than presidential.
“Personally, I feel that if I were president, poise would be important,” the actor declared. “Leadership would be important. Taking responsibility for everybody.” If he did not agree with someone on a key issue, “I wouldn’t shut them out. I would actually include them.”
“It’s hard to categorize right now how I think [Trump’s] doing, other than to tell you how I would operate, what I would like to see,” Johnson said.
The actor did mention one specific policy he “completely disagrees” with Trump on — the much-maligned “Muslim Ban” which has been held up in the courts. The star insisted that while “I believe in our national security to the core,” he does not “believe in a ‘ban that bans immigrants.'”
“I believe in inclusion. Our country was built on that, and it continues to be made strong by that,” Johnson declared. “And the decision felt like a snap judgment.”
The Rock admitted that “the majority of, if not all, Americans feel that protection is of huge importance. But the ideology and the execution [of national security initiatives] is where we really have to be careful of not making those snap decisions, because there’s a tail effect.”
This “tail effect” might refer to the initial confusion in applying the order, and then the backlash against it, which the actor said “grew to heartache, it grew to a great deal of pain, it grew to a great deal of confusion, and it had a lot of people scrambling.”
Johnson suggested that the president should show “better leadership,” and he suggested an independent who listens to both sides would do the job better.
“When there’s disagreement, and you have a large group of people that you’re in disagreement with — for example, the media — I feel like it informs me that I could do better,” the actor explained. “We all have issues, and we all gotta work our sh*t out. And I feel like one of the qualities of a great leader is not shutting people out. I miss that part.”
The Rock’s suggestion to not “shut people out” should apply to both sides — President Barack Obama was just as bad on this score as President Trump, if not worse.
“Even if we disagree, we’ve got to figure it out. Because otherwise I feel, as an American, all I hear and all I see in the example you’re setting is ‘Now I’m shutting you out. And you can’t come,'” Johnson said, ostensibly most about Trump. But he would prefer leadership that considers disagreement an opportunity to learn.
“The responsibility as president — I [would] take responsibility for everyone. Especially when you disagree with me,” The Rock said. “If there’s a large number of people disagreeing, there might be something I’m not seeing, so let me see it. Let me understand it.”
This articulation of civility is noble, and Johnson should be praised for it. But too often, liberal elites — and especially those in Hollywood — declare such good ideals, but then act and believe according to a closed-minded groupthink. Much like President Obama, they declare with their mouths the virtue of civility but overlook it when the time actually comes to listen to those who truly disagree.
The Rock will have to prove that this humility is real, but he could indeed represent a political force. Many have noted that President Donald Trump had no political experience before his current role, and Johnson is the same. But unlike the president, Johnson has not run a business — however poorly Trump may have run his.
If the response to the GQ report is any sign, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson can indeed become a political force, and that may be for the good. America will have to wait and see.
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) May 10, 2017