Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Ron Silver 1946-2009
Character actor Ron Silver has passed away after a two year battle with cancer. I blog about this for two reasons:
1: Ron Silver was a wonderful actor who I have enjoyed immensely through the years, particularly as Bruno Gianelli, the hard nosed political strategist on The West Wing.
2: Ron Silver was a liberal Democrat who became a Bush supporter due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He endured the ridicule from his own friends and embraced a VERY unpopular position that negatively affected not only his reputation with the Left but jeapordized his career.
I was at a dinner party once where the participants were all liberal Democrats (hey I lived in Boulder) except for me. When the topic of Ron Silver came up, a collective disgust came out from the company. "Wow", I thought, this guy really struck a nerve.
Ron Silver was on a panel discussion a couple years ago and I was amazed by his reason and rational. He mentioned something to the affect that for years he saw, and was well aware of, the far right crazies but how he had come to learn, and fear, the far left crazies just as much, if not more.
I resonated with that attitude as I had come to the same conclusion from the opposite end of the spectrum. I had always seen, and feared, the far-left crazies. They were the enemy trying to destroy all that was good and noble about this country. Then I ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2004 (yes, I lost...but I did win the primary) and was quickly made aware that my own party had its fair share of crazies.
For years I listened to pundits like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and saw the world in the way they sold it. But something certainly happened to me. I don't know if I moved to the middle, or they moved to the right, but now they sound like clanging cymbals to me. Its not that I always disagree with what they say (I often agree) its more in the way they say it.
Its become pretty in vogue these days for evangelical Christians (particularly the under 40s) to proclaim their disgust with the Republican Party and proudly proclaim their support for the Democrats
...but not I.
I certainly sympathize, but the reality for me is there are more deal breakers on the left side of the aisle than the right, although I retain the right to step over the line when I feel the issue deserves it.
Ron Silver was a liberal until his death bed, but his sharp mind allowed him to alter his positions on a number of areas where reason would trump ideology. In this clip I was saddened at the obvious toll the cancer took on his body. As a survivor of cancer myself, I am particularly empathetic for people living with this horrible disease.
So Rest In Peace Mr. Silver, you'll be missed!