"The extreme left and extreme right completely illegitimize the other side," Matthew McConaughey says of the current political climate

By Jen Juneau
December 15, 2020 12:40 PM
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Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey
| Credit: Cindy Ord/Getty

Matthew McConaughey is adding more to his conversation about the political divide in America, after giving similar comments earlier this month on Russell Brand's podcast Under the Skin.

The 51-year-old actor spoke with Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid Tuesday morning on Good Morning Britain, where he said he believes we "need liberals" but not what he calls "illiberals."

"What I don't think some liberals see is they're often being cannibalized by the illiberals," said McConaughey. "There are extremes on both sides that I think are unfair ... the extreme left and extreme right completely illegitimize the other side, the liberal and conservative side, which we need in certain places."

"The two extremes illegitimize those two sides, or they exaggerate [the other] side's stance into an irrational state that makes no sense. And that's not fair when either side does that," he continued.

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The Oscar winner's comments on Good Morning Britain come one week after he told Brand that he considers himself to be "in the middle" politically while criticizing what he calls the "illiberal left," whom he feels are partially responsible for the country's political division.

McConaughey was responding to Brand, 45, who asked the actor if he noticed "condemnation and criticism of ordinary working people" in Hollywood when discussing politics.

"There's a lot on that illiberal left that absolutely condescend, patronize and are arrogant towards that other 50 percent," the Texas native said. "I'm sure you saw it in our industry when [Donald] Trump was voted in four years ago, they were in denial that it was real. Some of them were in absolute denial."

"It looks like [Joe] Biden's our guy," McConaughey added. "Now you've got the right that's in denial, because their side has fake news. And I understand, they've been fed fake news. No one knows what the hell to believe, right? So they're putting down their last bastion of defense."

Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey
| Credit: Noam Galai/Getty

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The Greenlights author went on to explain to Brand why "the left misses it for me."

"When you say, 'Hey, we want to get out the vote. We want people to go vote. We're going to do a campaign to let people vote.' I'm like, 100 percent. Yes, everyone," he said. "Is there anyone who would say no to that? That's universal. You have 100 percent of the audience going, 'I'm in. That's a constitutional right as an American.' "

"And then they can't help themselves," McConaughey added. "At the very end of it they go, 'So, we don't let those criminal bastards get back in office.' You're like, 'No! Don't say the last part. You lost 50 percent of your audience.' And that's part of why so much of the nation of that 50 percent looks at us in Hollywood like, 'Oh yeah, another celebrity over there on the west coasters and the elite in the Northeast."

McConaughey said that he believes the best solution to unite the country is for both sides on the political spectrum to come together and find common ground in the middle.

"It's a move to say, 'No, let's get aggressively centric,' " he said. "I dare you. It's not a recession. It's an aggressive move."