Matthew McConaughey Reacts to the Political Divide in America: 'Let's Get Aggressively Centric'
Matthew McConaughey is getting real about his thoughts on America's current political climate.
In a recent episode of the podcast Under the Skin, hosted by Russell Brand, the 51-year-old actor, who considers himself to be "in the middle" politically, criticized what he calls the "illiberal left," whom he feels are partially responsible for the country's political division.
McConaughey was responding to Brand, 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 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."
The Greenlights author went on to explain to Brand, 45, 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, I’m in. Yes!’ "
"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."
McConaughey recently spoke with PEOPLE about his bestselling memoir Greenlights, where he acknowledged he's thought about one day getting into politics.
"I've had many discussions about that," said the Oscar winner, who in 2019 was named the Minister of Culture for the University of Texas, where he also teaches film classes.
"I'm not saying no, but I don't know that that's the category or the avenue where I can be most myself and maybe hopefully do the most amount of good. I got a hunch that somewhere it lies closer in this Ministry of Culture work, which is a whole different category. If anything, it rides the slipstream right down the middle of the aisle of partisanship, which is based on my belief and understanding of the value of our values. I think that's what we're missing most as a people, a mutual understanding of each other, a respect for ourselves, respect for each other."
Greenlights is now available for purchase.