From his interview with The Independent about his new movie The Adjustment Bureau (based on a Philip Dick novel that I found had a thematic connection to The Urantia Book‘s depiction of the Seraphic Planetary Government), actor and progressive activist Matt Damon comments on his former support for President Obama.
Few of Barack Obama’s celebrity supporters at the 2008 US presidential election were as committed to his cause as the Oscar-winning actor Matt Damon. Rather than merely support Mr Obama in an online video, Damon, one of Hollywood’s highest-profile liberal activists, campaigned for the Democratic nominee in Florida. Not content with that, he provided one of the most cutting insults of the campaign when he described the Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin as “really terrifying… like something out of a bad Disney movie.”
Damon, 40, star of the Bourne spy trilogy and two new films, The Adjustment Bureau and True Grit, is scrupulously polite and mild-mannered when we meet in a Manhattan hotel. But laying bare his disenchantment with the Obama administration, he doesn’t hide how let down he feels. President Obama’s record on the economy particularly rankles.
“I think he’s rolled over to Wall Street completely. The economy has huge problems. We still have all these banks that are too big to fail. They’re bigger and making more money than ever. Unemployment at 10 per cent? It’s terrible.”
What has proved to be a challenging time in office for President Obama culminated in significant Democratic reversals to the Republicans at last November’s mid-term elections. Many of his star backers have either kept quiet about politics or, as in the case of George Clooney, Damon’s close friend and co-star in the Ocean’s trilogy, remained steadfastly loyal. Not Damon. He is upset that Mr Obama, who promised to “spread the wealth around,” has extended the Bush tax cuts and that the inequality gap has widened.
“They had a chance that they don’t have any more to stand up for things,” he says. “They’ve probably squandered that at this point. They’ll probably just make whatever deals they can to try to get elected again.”
The Obama Administration’s announcement today that it was abandoning its commitment to shut down Guantanomo Bay and its spurious legal infrastructure, including repudiation of that most fundamental of civil rights, habeus corpus, was but the latest straw for me.
Matt Greenwald has more.
UPDATE: Image credit: Andy Robinson / Splash News