HOLLYWOOD REPUBLICANS, LIBERTARIANS COMING OUT OF THE CLOSET
by Thomas M. Sipos, managing editor.
[December 30, 2002]
[HollywoodInvestigator.com] Hollywood is not exclusively Democratic -- and Republicans and Libertarians
are coming out of the closet!
So said David Ruprecht, host
of PAX-TV's Supermarket Sweep, at a dinner hosted by the California Libertarian
Party's Region 63 -- an event
held at Bakers Square Restaurant in Pasadena, on the evening of December
-- who recently taped the 1,000th episode of the 13 year's running Supermarket
Sweep -- was invited to address Region 63 because of his work on Libertarian
Party presidential candidate Harry
Browne's 2000 campaign video, and because of his current involvement
with the American Liberty
himself as a "baby libertarian," Ruprecht and his wife Patti (also in attendance)
had been "lifelong Democrats" until the early 1990s, when, Ruprecht said,
they realized that "the Democrats don't speak to us anymore." Over
time, he discovered the Libertarian Party by listening to radio's Larry
Elder -- and was eager to learn more when his commercial agent hesitantly
approached him about hosting a "political infomercial" for Harry Browne.
A thrilled Ruprecht shocked the agent by stating that he'd been thinking
of joining the LP.
replied: "Everybody in Hollywood is either Democratic or in the closet."
the day he taped Browne's infomercial, Ruprecht gushes: "It was so cool!
I could pepper him with questions [between takes]. He's very open.
He's the nicest guy on the planet. He's really smart!"
of his TV fame, Ruprecht was asked to read the LP platform at their 2000
convention, for the benefit of the C-SPAN audience. "So I read the
party platform, and I took my Democratic Party card -- which I'd had forever
-- lifted it up, and I joined the LP right there [on national TV]."
* Hollywood Politics
the time Ruprecht joined the LP, his wife became a Republican. "I
don't think she's registered yet, but she votes Republican. It's
so odd in Hollywood, when she'll come into a rehearsal, like, after Election
Day in 2000. And she'll say, 'Yeah, I voted for Bush.' And
they step back like she's got a ..."
Patti reminds him that, as she is a choreographer and director, she has
jobs to offer -- so people don't step back.
Ruprecht concedes. "But they look at you... It's very odd."
he believes Democrats are losing their monopoly on Hollywood, and mentions
radio talk show host Al Rantel's
promotion of the newly founded Hollywood
Republicans. "They're coming out of the closet," says Ruprecht,
adding that he'd like to start a similar group for showbiz libertarians.
I'm talking to my friends and I say I'm a Libertarian, maybe 10% will go:
'Oh yeah, I don't like the isolationism, I don't like the open borders'
-- but 90% have no idea [what the LP stands for]. And when I start
telling them, maybe they have a problem with the gun issue, but they'll
go: 'Oh yeah, the government shouldn't be in your bedroom. The government
shouldn't be in your womb. The government shouldn't be in your bank
account as much as it is.'"
pro-gun rights position is a turn off to many showbiz folk, but Ruprecht
doesn't see the gun issue as an insurmountable obstacle toward attracting
more Hollywood members. "Not every Democrat believes in affirmative
action. Not every Republican believes in [banning] abortion.
I don't believe in every part of the LP. I think that's why Larry
[Elder] keeps his libertarianism as a 'small l'."
Interjecting, Sandor Woren
stated that Elder's primary reason for not joining the LP was "because
he objects to the foreign policy of the LP, or the lack thereof." Woren then quoted Elder as personally telling him: "I'm violently against
this pacifist, antiwar trend we have in this party."
was the California LP's 2002 candidate for state assembly district #43.
admitted that after 9/11, Browne "was almost saying, it
was kind of our fault, because we're meddling over there." But
despite their differing interpretations of libertarianism, Ruprecht noted
that Elder and Browne remain friends. "Both of them still cordial,
and speak highly of each other."
that libertarianism has appeal in Hollywood, Ruprecht lists as out- of-the-closet
libertarians: Kurt Russell, Penn and Teller, Clint Eastwood, Drew Carey,
John Larroquette, Howard
Stern (who briefly sought the LP ticket for NY guv), Tommy Chong ("Although
he may be a one-issue type person."), P.J. O'Rourke, Russell Means, [producer] Aaron
Russo, and possibly Bill Maher ("I used to
enjoy [Politically Incorrect] at the beginning, but then it got so Left...").
libertarians places a high value on attracting celebrities. One Region
63 attendee marveled that actors comment on political matters they know
nothing about -- and that people take them seriously.
are not necessarily that smart," Ruprecht conceded. "It doesn't mean
you're stupid, but you don't have to be smart to be a good actor or a good
dancer. That people give [celebrities] any credence or any weight
to what they have to say just because they're -- it just boggles my mind
why anybody would listen to what I have to say."
the right to own a gun trouble many otherwise libertarian celebrities? Explains Ruprecht: "It's an idealistic feeling that America would
be a better country without guns. What doesn't cross over the synapse
is that it ain't gonna happen. They're idealists, thinking we are
gonna get rid of the guns -- and not that only the bad guys are gonna have
guns. And [thinking] that we'll have a terrific country 'like England
has' -- which is getting worse and worse."
other attendees noted that many pro-gun control celebs, such as Steven
Spielberg and Rosie O'Donnell, have guns or armed bodyguards, Ruprecht,
reminding everyone that he'd been a lifelong Democrat, said: "That's the
Democratic thing. They feel they know better how to live your life
than you do.
the Rotary Club in Sierra Madre over a year ago. It's a natural outcropping
of my libertarianism, because we don't need the government [to provide
a safety net]. There are enough churches and synagogues and rotaries
to pick up the slack.
Rotary Club gets $1000 to work on an orphanage in Tijuana, $1500 goes down
there, because we would chip in too. And you got Tijuana Rotarians
down there telling us what they need and how to do it, and where to get
the paint cheap. It's an international organization. So our
$1500 probably goes $2000. But if the government got $1000 to work
on an orphanage in Tijuana, by the time it filtered through the bureaucracy,
it would be $200. And it would be misspent, because they wouldn't
know what the hell they were doing.
to his hosting duties, Ruprecht is an actor, having appeared on the Drew
Carey Show in the role of a lunatic who thinks he's Larry King. "But
we never got to talk about libertarianism," he says of Carey on the set. "He was too busy."
* American Liberty Foundation
Ruprecht joined the Board of Directors of the American
Liberty Foundation, which, from his description, is the educational
division of the LP. "I'm not sure of the exact connection.
They're separate, but it is a wing. The point [of the ALF] is to
get the message out. Too much of [libertarianism] is in books, or
in esoteric or academic situations, and the American public is not getting
the message. The goal [of the ALF] would be that every American doesn't
go through a day without hearing the libertarian message some little bit,
whether it's a radio ad, a TV ad, a newspaper ad, somebody talking about
it on talk show.
my Democratic left-wing friends, when I tell them what libertarianism is
all about, they go: 'Well that makes sense.'"
the ALF has produced three TV ads on the gun issue, which ran on CNN and
Fox News. "The idea is that the Foundation is Procter & Gamble,
and we have different lines of products. The first line of products
that we brought out were the armed & secure lines. The next line
may be the war on drugs, or social security, or the income tax.
idea is great, but people aren't getting it. People are not hearing
it. They think of us as some fringe lunatic group."
Region 63 attendees noted that in 2000 many voters preferred Browne, but
voted for Bush because they were "terrified of Al Gore" and "it was literally
a survival issue" -- but that now Americans have reasons to be terrified
dime's worth of difference," said Ruprecht. "That's Harry's line." [George Wallace is usually credited as having coined it. -- ed.]
* America's First Foreign War
to his hosting and acting, Ruprecht is a writer. Hallmark is currently
producing a script he co-wrote, as a miniseries. "It's called 'To
The Shores Of Tripoli,'" says Ruprecht. "It's about America's first
battle off its own shores, against Arabs and Barbary pirates." In
recently discussed his script over lunch with Browne. "I love listening
to Harry talk. I feel like Aristotle at Plato's knees, because he's
so smart, and he's so well read." The two men compared notes on the
American government's history of manipulating events to push the nation
into war. "The one I know more about is Roosevelt and Pearl Harbor
not being as much of a surprise as we have always been led to believe that
it was. Roosevelt did things to get us into World War 2, because
he needed to get us into World War 2.
said that Lincoln did things to get us into the Civil War, because he needed
to get us into the Civil War. World War 1 was the same way.
wanted to find out what Jefferson had done in this Tripolitan war, because
it was our first war off our own shores -- and it's Jefferson who was the
original libertarian. So I had done a lot of studying on Jefferson."
Shores Of Tripoli" begins shooting in February 2003, in South Africa. "Tom Berenger was attached to it from the get-go," Ruprecht says. "This was an eight-year-old script."
closed by announcing that Browne wished for the members of Region 63 to
know that he has a new book coming out in January 2004, in trade paperback. He also plans to update and re-release his older books from the 1970s and
Copyright 2002 by HollywoodInvestigator.com
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