Wishing America a happy 245th birthday, A-list actor Matthew McConaughey opined, among other things, that the still-embryonic country has a lot to learn but should keep striving for excellence because the U.S. “is an aspiration.”
“We’re basically going through puberty in comparison to other countries’ timeline,” the Oscar-winner said in a folksy, inspirational, but relatively substance-free, 2-1/2 minute video posted to Twitter on July 4 in which he expressed support for both individualism and collective responsibilities.
“As we celebrate our independence today, as we celebrate our birth as a nation, the day that kick-started a revolution to gain our sovereignty, let’s admit that this last year, this trip around the sun, was also another head-scratcher,” Texas native McConaughey began his message to his nearly three million followers.
“But let’s also remember that we’re babies as a country,” the movie star continued. “We’re basically going through puberty in comparison to other countries’ timeline, and we’re gonna go through growing pains. We are going through growing pains. This is not an excuse, this is just the reality, and this is good, because we gotta keep learning, we got to keep maturing, we gotta keep striving, we gotta keep climbing, we gotta keep building. And we gotta make sure we maintain hope along the way, as we continue to evolve.
“Why? It’s because it’s who we are. Why? Because the alternative sucks,” he declared in what appeared to be remarks delivered extemporaneously.
“I believe that America, and you and I, are an aspiration. We’re constantly in motion, we’re on the way, trying to get wiser, trying to get braver, trying to dream more, trying to do more, trying to be more fair, take the right kind of responsibilities, to gain the right kind of freedoms, and we gotta keep realizing that we’re a place where our individual pursuits and desires need to be appreciative and supportive of our collective responsibilities as Americans, hence the United States of America.”
“Sure, we’re each unique. We’re each independent. We each have innate abilities that others don’t have, as people and as states. But at the same time, we are all in this together, and if you don’t purchase that, move on. Go somewhere else….”
Watch the entire video embedded below and form your own conclusions:
happy 245th birthday America – lets rock pic.twitter.com/MiLKZ0HN8y
— Matthew McConaughey (@McConaughey) July 4, 2021
The actor also recommended that people take inventory of where the country started and where it is headed “on the way to being the best we can be.”
McConaughey has said he is considering potentially running for governor in Texas and has reportedly checked in with some wealthy Republican donors with that in mind.
Along with this new video, his public comments have suggested, for the most part, a carefully crafted, middle-of-the-road philosophy (although he recently slammed anti-maskers), and the above comment about getting out of America seems out of character.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) May 29, 2021
If the self-described centrist runs against Republican incumbent Greg Abbott, it’s not clear under what party affiliation he would do so. Abbott has several announced primary opponents in 2022, the latest being U.S. Army vet Allen West, the Texas GOP chair and former Florida congressman.
It’s often said that, for whatever reason, once they reach a certain level of prominence, actors want to be politicians and politicians want to be actors (and obviously there is a lot of overlap there), while musicians want to be athletes and vice versa.
At 51, Matthew McConaughey has probably a decade left as a Hollywood leading man, and after that, unlimited lucrative runway as a supporting actor with minimal heavy lifting required. As such, it remains to be seen if his purported interest in politics results in him becoming an actual candidate for public office.
McConaughey’s happy birthday America message was met with a mixed response on Twitter, even from among his fans. Here is a sampling:
He’s never been a very good actor other than in a couple of roles. Then he began to believe his own press and is now a washed up joke. Leave the serious business of governing to the real folks Matt.
— texaradogirl2 (@texaradogirl2) July 4, 2021
I have no idea what he was trying to say but McConaughey is the man nonetheless
— Jim Ferriter (@jim_ferriter) July 5, 2021
Looking like a politician instead of a citizen in this video..
— LaTonya B (@Mookeybaby1) July 5, 2021
That’s right. And we may be “babies” in that seniority list of countries, but in that short time we’ve invented everything but the wheel+the printing press; we’ve contributed more money to causes and to other placesTHAN ANYONE+that we believe we yet have a lot to learn-I’m in
— Truman Capoeti (@TCapoeti) July 5, 2021
This sounded way too Republican of you. Almost like you were rooting for America to win in the end. You need to be canceled immediately! The outrage!
— WCG (@eBOLA_O) July 5, 2021
Not another rich white man telling me things
— Little Swamp Bitch (@sadbaberobyn) July 4, 2021
I still don’t want you as my governor.
— Holli (@holli) July 4, 2021
I appreciate you using your voice to get this message out, now please try and get your Hollywood peers and the media onboard because without that it won’t happen. If people don’t learn to compromise and work together we won’t make it.
— 🌹NikitaMarie (@RetiredNikitaM) July 5, 2021
Sounds like someone is wanting to become president Mcconaughey. Will the state of the union start with Alright, alright, alright ?
— The Socialist Cat Mom🌹🌻 (@duritzkitten) July 5, 2021
He got them cult leader glasses and hair but I’m honestly here for it
— The Stranger there among them (@HunterB3453) July 4, 2021
If you don’t like America?? Get the bleep Out!!! God bless
— Tessie (@Tessie2359) July 4, 2021
Is he in character for a movie he’s currently filming?
The hair + glasses + rings combo is… a lot.
— Leah (@MsLeahCatherine) July 4, 2021
I appreciate Matthew’s respect for community over self. We are a collective that will only survive if we protect & save each other, every other being, & the planet that gives us life & sustains us.
— LindaMilazzo (@LindaMilazzo) July 4, 2021
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