Footloose and American Free

I do struggle with how much and in which way, as an artist or celebrity, that you voice your political views.

American actor and musician, Kevin Bacon, was born on this day in 1958.

I’ve never met, or worked with Kevin Bacon.

Although, seven years ago this summer, I was in a stage production of Footloose at Dogwood Dell. I was Uncle Wes, and I got to (stage) slap Ren, Bacon’s character from the movie.

So, we sort of have a connection.

Speaking of connections, it’s a technicality, but I have a Bacon number of 2.

I was “technically” in Juanita with Alfre Woodard. True, I’m not credited and you can’t see me, but I’m there and got paid for working on the film. Alfre Woodard was in Beauty Shop with Kevin Bacon. According to the Oracle of Bacon, that gives me a Bacon number of 2.

My Dad actually has a Bacon number of 3. He played in the U.S. Army Band in The Big Lift with Montgomery Clift. Montgomery Clift was in The Misfits with Eli Wallach. Eli Wallach was in Mystic River with Kevin Bacon.

All that to say that, I doubt Kevin and I share the same political views. In fact, I’m all but certain that we don’t.

But I do share his hesitation to share political views publicly. Yesterday’s post was probably about as outspoken as I’ve been in a long time.

Don’t get me wrong. I used to play hardcore politics. But being mostly conservative, and a former Republican (who still tends to vote that way, but not always), sharing too many political views can be hazardous to my career.

For one thing. I spend a lot of time in theater. Let’s just say that it’s hard to be a conservative in the arts.

It really shouldn’t be. But it is. In fact, these days it quite often leads to the end of one’s career.

That’s not the only reason I don’t speak out.

I portray the big guy in the red suit in December. Santa doesn’t need to be political. A lot of Santas are, and they trend conservative…which is a whole ‘nother post. But I don’t tend to think it’s helpful to mix the two.

The bottom line is that I did spend years writing and working and campaigning for conservative causes, mostly Republicans. And I came to the point that, while I still generally believe in the values, including limited government, not many of the people I was supporting were saying the same thing. Either that or they were beclowining themselves.

I came to the point one day when I said “I can’t defend them any longer.”

It’s not that I jumped to the other side. Far from it.

In fact, I’m often quite frustrated being stuck here somewhat in the middle without a political party I can call my own.

That’s not always a bad thing. It does make it challenging at election time. Long time readers will know that I voted third party in 2016. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

I would like to live in a world where we could disagree politically and not fear getting doxxed or canceled.

I would like to live in a world where we could be on opposite sides and still be friends, neighbors, and co-workers.

I would like to live in a world where the words like “diversity” and “inclusion” made room for conservatives, and Christians.

Oh snap. I went there.

My little post here isn’t going to change that.

Like I wrote a few weeks back, the most powerful thing I can do, that any of us can do, is pray. We’re in need of a spiritual awakening. No amount of rioting or name-changing or pandering will fix the mess we’re in.

Yeah, I know in Footloose the conservative pastor didn’t want the kids to have a dance.

Then he learned a little about grace.

I hope we can, too.

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