Scott Baio loves his Trump. The Joanie Loves Chachi/Happy Days star spoke out on cable news all through the campaign in favour of the candidate. “He just grabs you,” said Baio in the most awkwardly phrased praise of the newly elected president possible.
He later spoke at the first night of the republican convention. In his numerous appearances, he has stated that Obama is either a “Muslim, Muslim sympathizer, or dumb, and I don’t think he’s dumb.” This kind of conspiracy theory fits right in line with Trump’s causal use of the National Enquirer as a legitimate source of news.
Websites and studies as far ranging as Breitbart to Psychology Today have tried to find a link to liberal points of view and their intrinsic pairing with artists. The answer seems fairly simple on its face. Conservative, and by extension fascist (not that conservatives are all fascists… not all) values don’t harbour a nurturing environment for creativity. Artistic choices can be constricted rather than allowed to flourish.
There are, however, some successful outliers, Baio not really being the shining example. For a more perfect example of a successful conservative star, one need look no further than Clint Eastwood. His films over the past 40 years have rarely misfired, many are praised as classics and he seems capable of doing something a lot of left-wing artists seem incapable of – separating his art from his personal beliefs. Sure, Dirty Harry is a fascistic film, but Eastwood’s entry in the franchise, Sudden Impact, wrestles with the complex moral issues regarding vengeance. In short, it’s not the kind of film you’d expect from a man who mocked an empty chair at the RNC.
It must irk celebrities when the public tells them to shut their mouths and entertain – essentially to be their monkeys. They are, after all, citizens of the world; ones that we’ve deemed worthy of a microphone. If you had the mic, surely you wouldn’t treat it with restraint at all times.
Here are just a few other conservative celebrities. There are plenty of others, some perhaps even closeted about their beliefs.
15. Orson Scott Card
Writer Orson Scott Card is the kind of author that you either unabashedly love or are willing to leave a party should you find their book in your host’s collection. Ender’s Game is, by many, considered to be a classic of the sci-fi literary genre. It’s not a shock that the author holds conservative values dear to him. Game is recommended reading for various military organizations.
The problem with his views became a national issue during the battle to legalize gay marriage. He stated that no matter how affectionate a gay couple is to one another, they will never be equal to the love between a man and a woman. He also said anyone in favour of the bill was his sworn “mortal enemy” and he would “act to destroy [them] and bring [them] down.”
14. Meat Loaf
Rocker Meat Loaf believes with all his heart that talk shows and late shows won’t have him on the air due his political beliefs. Never did it once enter his mind that television’s seeming disinterest in him might have to do with the fact that he’s Meat Loaf.
The Loaf came out in support of Mitt Romney in 2012, saying it was the most significant election of his lifetime (he has yet to comment on 2016). He also criticized the removal of a prayer banner in a Rhode Island school, with a surprisingly reasonable argument – that the world has much more important things to worry about.
13. Kid Rock
I know, shocker, right? The Michigan born wannabe redneck supported Mitt Romney and allowed him to use his music at rallies (though God knows why anyone would want to). He later performed at fundraising benefits for the candidate alongside fellow lunatic Ted Nugent.
After Dylan Roof opened fire at a Charleston church draped in a Confederate flag, Reverend Al Sharpton called for Rock to denounce it. Instead, he sent an email to Megyn Kelly telling those who criticize him to kiss his ass because, as we all know, Kid Rock is nothing if not classy.
12. Tila Tequila
It’s hard to pin down Tila Tequila. Not physically, she’s a very tiny person, but politically she seemed initially to be in it for the shock value more than any kind of statement.
Then she brought out the Hitler swag.
Tequila began stirring controversy/trying to remain relevant with an article on her website entitled “Why I Sympathize With Hitler: Part I.” With a title like that, you just know she’ll be extra sensitive to Jewish people. In fact, she claims she harbours no anti-semitic feelings whatsoever. Instead, she views the holocaust as just a part of war. “People die in war. That’s why I’m against all war,” she wrote with the wisdom and ambiguousness of Heraclitus.
11. Jon Voight
There are a handful of actors from the Easy Rider and Raging Bull era that completely doubled back on their youthful free love existence. Jon Voight was the first to speak out.
In his younger days, his idealism was shattered after JFK was shot dead. Later, he actively campaigned for George McGovern. Since at least 2008, he’s renounced his past vehemently, claiming his anti-war rhetoric during Vietnam was the result of being fed “Marxist propaganda.” That same year, he endorsed Rudy Giuliani and spoke in defence of the Bush administration. He was also one of the celebrities who cited the Book of Revelation to prove Obama was the antichrist.
10. Victoria Jackson
During Victoria Jackson’s tenure at Saturday Night Live, she either kept her political views to herself or went completely insane after she left. Jackson became an outspoken member of the tea party, espousing their more extreme and nonsensical views. For instance, she regularly referred to Barack Obama as an “Islamic Jihadist.”
Her right wing views seem to stem from her Christianity, which has limited her comedy appearances to strictly Christian venues. However, she regularly appeared on FOX news throughout Obama’s first term, claiming he was clearly a communist and his pro-abortion stance (something he never actually said) proves he’s not a Christian. Also, this happened:
9. Dennis Hopper
Much like Voight, Dennis Hopper pulled a complete 180 on his politics as he began to find greys in his comb. But his was much more drastic – it had to be. This was a man who once walked into a production meeting and urinated on the desk, who was so strung out on LSD he barely remembers a lot of the decade of free love.
Hopper endorsed and spoke in favour of the Bush administration. However, thankfully, he still had a bit of common sense left in him. He endorsed Obama in 2008, stating that his reasons for turning against John McCain were based on the selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate.
8. Alice Cooper
Just in case you think hanging out with Alice Cooper involves biting heads off animals and evenings devoted to worshipping some dark overload, be prepared for a surprise. Hanging out with Alice Cooper mostly involves playing golf. A whole lot of golf.
Cooper believes music and politics are two entirely separate things and never the twain shall meet. “When John Lennon and Harry Nilsson used to argue politics,” he once said, “I was sitting right in the middle of them and I was the guy who was going ‘I don’t care’.”
Later, he cared, but only to the extent that he believed musicians who campaigned for John Kerry in 2004 were “committing treason against rock and roll.” This led him to support Bush, almost for the sake of being contrarian to his musician brethren.
7. Adam Sandler
One need only look as far as his bottom-line attitude toward the film roles he takes to see the conservative nature of Adam Sandler. He’s mostly remained quiet politically, but as he’s aged, his decisions seem to be more based on income incentives than passion. Sure, he’ll turn in the odd great dramatic performance if a friend is making a serious film, but he knows the real money is in dressing in drag and adopting his childish voice. His recent deal with Netflix reeks of money. He rarely takes a film these days unless the script shows potential for an excellent vacation spot.
In 2008, he donated a few thousand dollars to Rudy Giuliani’s campaign. But 2008 was a different time, when all Giuliani had to do was say “*cough* 9/11*cough*” and bundles of cash would show up on his doorstep the next day.
6. Kelsey Grammer
While Kelsey Grammer essentially trademarked “effete liberal” with the role of Frasier Crane, a role he played for over a decade, the actor couldn’t be further removed from the role. He was a guest at George W. Bush’s first inauguration.
In the past, Grammer has expressed interest in running for Congress, Mayor of New York, and ultimately the presidency. This was, however, during a time when he was suffering from an addiction to alcohol – something he has unfortunately relapsed into several times leading to interventions from the casts of both Cheers and Frasier – so it’s hard to gauge his seriousness. Most recently, he first supported Ben Carson‘s campaign before switching to back Trump in the final stretch of the election.
5. Tom Selleck
Tom Selleck will now forever be known as the heir apparent to Charlton Heston. Not in the sense that Selleck is as good an actor as Heston (he really isn’t. He’s low-grade TV good), but that he took up the mantle as celebrity spokesperson for the NRA after Heston’s passing.
While appearing on The Rosie O’Donnell Show in 1999 to promote his film The Love Letter (a movie I had to IMDB to prove to myself it exists), he came under fire from the host for a recent NRA ad in which he appeared. He curtly responded, “It’s your show and you can talk about it after I leave.”
4. Big Boi
For Big Boi, it appears to all be about merchandising. In 2008, a woman approached him after the election and congratulated on his win (because he’s black. And there’s a black president, so clearly all black people won). To which he responded, “B!$*h I voted for Gary Johnson.” Johnson was a GOP governor before running as a Libertarian, the party that Big Boi pledges his allegiance.
3. Football Players (Like Tim Tebow)
It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that taking a few too many blows to the head might limit your capacity for complex political situations, that you’d prefer the straight talk express rather than address actual issues that face the nation.
That’s not entirely fair. Football players have far too long been stereotyped as enormous, hulking brutes who aren’t cultured, educated individ-
…Wait, what was I saying?
With the exception of some, most major NFL players are hard line right wingers. A lot of the time, their political views are based around their faith. The ultimate example would be Tim Tebow, who inks bible verses on his eyelids.
2. James Woods
So James Woods hasn’t been around much these days, but in the 80s he made a living playing scumbags, gangsters and sleazy photojournalists, the latter of which got him an Oscar nomination. Last time he was in a major motion picture, he adopted a lousy Southern accent in Rod Lurie’s unnecessary remake of Straw Dogs and played the main villain in White House Down. And it’s a shame, because Woods was always such a magnetic presence on screen.
His political views became apparent when, in 2006, he pledged his support of Israel and later became well known for his hardcore right wing tweets. Woods also had an incident on an airplane in which he reported suspicious looking Arab men for, well, looking Arab.
1. Joe Pesci
The fiery little Italian of Martin Scorsese‘s films is fairly tight lipped about his political and religious views, however there is evidence to suggest he leans more to the right. He’s an outspoken supporter of the Pope (John Paul II, at least). When Sinead O’Connor famously tore up His Holiness’ photo on Saturday Night Live, Pesci couldn’t help but speak up, stating that would have “given her such a smack.”
Given his deep Catholic ties, one can reasonably assume he’s socially conservative on issues such as abortion, birth control, and gay marriage. It’s doubtful we’ll ever get firm confirmation, however. He’s since retired from acting and spends his days on the golf course now.