I have watched your career over the years and admired your ability to remain decent and honest in the face of fame. But I’m here to tell you that your recent stance on Bernie or Bust is just flat out wrong. It is not only wrong, it’s immoral.
I’m writing to you because I did not figure you to be someone as selfish as the other celebrities out there, like Susan Sarandon, Rosario Dawson, Tim Robbins, John Cusack and Shailene Woodley — actors of privilege who really have nothing to lose by taking what they seem to think is an “high-minded” stand. I’ve seen people that I used to greatly admire, like Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart, get in on what amounts to a modern-day witch burning, where casual accusations are thrown around and then gain traction, even by people you would think would know better. Jon Stewart says he doesn’t know what Hillary Clinton stands for or believes in. That’s really his fault for not looking and not listening. If you can move past the visual stereotype of what you probably define as an “unhip old lady” you will see someone passionate about women’s rights, education, lifting up families in poverty and did I mention women’s rights? I know these things matter to you, even if they are not as hot-topic as fracking and GMOs.
In a recent Daily Beast interview you said that you believed what Bernie Sanders said about Hillary Clinton. Curiously, you don’t believe what he is saying about her now. You are choosing only to believe the negative, probably because it confirms your distrust and the positive stuff counters it. Didn’t you all know that Bernie Sanders was playing a game of politics? He plays dirty. He was willing to say anything to win, as most politicians do. You only really “go negative” if you have no other leverage. In a misogynistic culture, with a candidate who has been attacked since the day she became First Lady of Arkansas, hitting Hillary in those scars she suffered from past battles was the easy thing to do. Most of us watching from the sidelines kept thinking, “Don’t go so far you can’t walk it back.” Turns out, he did go too far and now he can’t walk it back with people like you.
I remember talking to David Cronenberg about working with you and he said you did your research carefully, that you read everything and wanted, always, to make sure you had all of the information you needed to play a character. Yet I do not see that careful consideration being given here. In fact, you sound like a cookie-cutter Sanders bro who always say the same things exactly in the same way.
You seem to believe that voting for Jill Stein is any kind of responsible choice in an election this tight. I get that you believe you would be selling out your own lofty standards by voting for this Democrat. I get that voting with the needs of others less fortunate than you is not a top priority for you. What I don’t get is that given what we know about the election in 2000, how you could, in all good conscience, put the lives of so many others at stake for your own personal expression. How can you have no heart, no compassion for people whose lives will be genuinely affected by what happens in November where your life and Sarandon’s and Cusack’s will not?
You are all privileged white people who will have no trouble buying your way of your own problems, but many others won’t. The big lie of the Bernie Sanders “revolution” is that at its heart it was not about bringing billionaires to heel. It was not about helping the middle class. And it certainly was not about putting government in the hands of the people. No. It was none of those things. In the end, what it has become for people like you, the ones who refuse to join concerned and pragmatic Democrats, is a chance to exercise your hatred of Hillary Clinton. That’s it. That is what it boiled down to in the end. Your revolution was about her. That’s why so many #BernieOrBust hashtags have been swapped out for #NeverHillary. It’s so small when you look at it like that.
You, Viggo, had the good fortune to be born as a good-looking white male with bright blue eyes. You were discovered staring at Harrison Ford in Witness with no dialogue. You starred in Lord of the Rings — probably made a shitload of money doing that. You started and ran a book publishing company. You wrote poetry. You were involved in the poetry movement in Los Angeles. All of that means you led a blessed life from start to finish. You would never know, for instance, what it might mean to be living in a Muslim community in Los Angeles under a Trump presidency. You couldn’t ever know what it would feel like to be a Mexican-American walking down the sidewalk under a Trump presidency. You would never have to worry about a government that regulates your uterus. You would never have to worry about having affordable healthcare for you and your kids. You would never have to worry that your marriage made legal under the Obama administration’s liberal-leaning Supreme Court would suddenly be made illegal. Or that “religious freedom” would make it impossible for you and your family to eat in some restaurants or shop at certain stores. You, Viggo, never have to worry about these things because you are at the very top of the food chain. A rich, white, male actor.
You said that no one should worry about the “Nader effect” and should just vote their conscience. Sixteen years ago America had a chance to turn back the clock on climate change by electing Al Gore. People like Susan Sarandon, Michael Moore and Bill Maher advocated the same thing you are advocating. A vote for Gore, they said, is the same as a vote for George W. Bush. To them that meant big oil was running our government. But look what voting for Nader in Florida gave us: oil men wreaking unfathomable tragedy and ruining millions of lives in pursuit of more oil. Deregulation of the energy industry was just the tip of the iceberg. Even after Hurricane Katrina, global warming was not addressed.
You have a choice now to pick the party that believes in climate change and the party that does not. you have a choice to back the candidate who will, at the very least, maintain the subsidies put in place by the Obama administration towards renewable energy. Instead, you are throwing all that away by applying your precious vote to the purist views of the Greens, which has about as much chance at getting anywhere near Congress as my flying to the moon.
In 2000, Gore lost by 537 votes. Although it’s not fair to blame Nader’s supporters completely, he did receive 97,000 votes. That was never going to be enough to elect him, but it was enough to elect Bush. Of course, they had no idea the election would be that close. “Vote your conscience and you can’t lose,” they said. Well, if they’d been thinking about the needs of the many over the needs of the few they would have voted for Gore and it would not have been close.
It’s 2016 and we know the election could be close once again. We know that if Jill Stein earns 7% of the vote that could easily tip the election in Trump’s favor. We know that when that happens, Paul Ryan will essentially be President as Trump will become an hysterical puppet. We know, beyond any doubt, that they will put an extreme conservative back on the Supreme Court to replace Scalia. We know that they will try to overturn Obamacare, the rights of gay couples to get married in every state, a woman’s right to do with her body what she chooses. We know Trump’s first order of business will be to “declare war” with ISIS and that will mean terrible terrible things for our country — and it will not stop ISIS anyway because no war can stop every madman in every truck. We know all of these things. How can you, in good conscience, believe that being true to your own whim is more important than protecting so many others will be put in such grave danger? How can the Viggo I thought I knew and admired be that selfish?
George W. Bush, with Dick Cheney as the de facto President, started two wars. Those wars have caused the murder of hundreds of thousands of innocents and gave rise to ISIS. Trump, and probably people like you and Bernie Sanders, want to blame Hillary Clinton for that war, because she voted yes on the Iraq resolution. But the fault lies squarely on those who did not vote to prevent the Bush presidency in the first place, long before it landed on Hillary Clinton. Bush was a disaster for this country in countless ways, but he was a preventable disaster. The same people who were shouting then are shouting now. The difference is, you know it could be close again. You know that a Trump presidency is a probable scenario and you know full well the kind of disaster he would be for this country. How can you live with yourself knowing this and continuing to advocate voting for Jill Stein? Don’t you know that you have influence over lots of people? Don’t you realize that you could help lose this election for the Democrats?
There is no way to get people like Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Rosario Dawson, Shailene Woodley and god knows who else (honestly, I don’t want to know who else) to care about the needs of the many over the needs of the few. They are so in love with their phony revolution and their chance to stand out and be noticed that they will never care enough to turn things around, even after Bernie Sanders himself took a look at the bigger picture and did the right thing. But you, Viggo, I expected you to have compassion and regard for the most vulnerable. As evidenced by your recent words, you clearly don’t, and that is a very depressing thing to see.
What I don’t get is how, after knowing what we know about the election of 2000, why you would not vote to prevent a national catastrophe that is a Donald Trump presidency. Are you just not paying attention to what’s happening in our government? Has Bernie Sanders taught you that the sum total of your hatred be directed at Hillary Clinton and that even a Donald Trump as president, and a Mike Pence as Vice President would be preferential to electing a woman you consider to be “untrustworthy”?
Even after they searched 30,000 emails — 30,000 – and could only find three with a single marking of (c) on them, even after 13 hours of Benghazi testimony at the taxpayer’s expense that came to nothing — what do you have on her? The Republicans have nothing. The progressive liberals have bought into a phony idea that to be pure and righteous means anything in a government that is run by three branches, not one. I remain shocked and disgusted that any reasonable person with heart and soul would take such an enormous risk. I will likely never view you in the same light again. That is a heartbreaker.
I hope you change your mind. A Trump presidency will be on you and others who had the chance to do the right thing but didn’t.
AN AMERICA FIRST ENERGY PLAN
I’m delighted to be in North Dakota, a state at the forefront of a new energy revolution.
Oil and natural gas production is up significantly in the last decade. Our oil imports have been cut in half.
But all this occurred in spite of massive new bureaucratic and political barriers.
President Obama has done everything he can to get in the way of American energy. He’s made life much more difficult for North Dakota, as costly regulation makes it harder and harder to turn a profit.
If Hillary Clinton is in charge, things will get much worse. She will shut down energy production across this country.
Millions of jobs, and trillions of dollars of wealth, will be destroyed as a result.
That is why our choice this November is so crucial.
Here’s what it comes down to.
Wealth versus poverty.
North Dakota shows how energy exploration creates shared prosperity. Better schools. More funding for infrastructure. Higher wages. Lower unemployment.
Things we’ve been missing.
It’s a choice between sharing in this great energy wealth, or sharing in the poverty promised by Hillary Clinton.
You don’t have to take my word for it. Just listen to Hillary Clinton’s own words. She has declared war on the American worker.
Here is what Hillary Clinton said earlier this year: “We are going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of work.”
She wants to shut down the coal mines.
And if Crooked Hillary can shut down the mines, she can shut down your business too.
Let me tell you how President Obama Undermined Our Middle Class
President Obama’s stated intent is to eliminate oil and natural gas production in America.
His policy is death by a thousand cuts through an onslaught of regulations.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s use of totalitarian tactics forces energy operators in North Dakota into paying unprecedented multi-billion dollar fines before a penalty is even confirmed.
Government misconduct goes on and on:
- The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against seven North Dakota oil companies for the deaths of 28 birds while the Administration fast-tracked wind projects that kill more than 1 million birds a year.
- The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service abuses the Endangered Species Act to restrict oil and gas exploration.
- Adding to the pain, President Obama now proposes a $10-per-barrel tax on American-produced oil in the middle of a downturn.At the same time President Obama lifts economic sanctions on Iran, he imposes economic sanctions on America. He has allowed this country to hit the lowest oil rig count since 1999, producing thousands of layoffs.
America’s incredible energy potential remains untapped. It is a totally self-inflicted wound.
Under my presidency, we will accomplish complete American energy independence.
Imagine a world in which our foes, and the oil cartels, can no longer use energy as a weapon.
But President Obama has done everything he can to keep us dependent on others. Let me list some of the good energy projects he killed.
He rejected the Keystone XL Pipeline despite the fact that:
- It would create and support more than 42,000 jobs.
- His own State Department concluded that it would be the safest pipeline ever built in the United States.
- And it would have no significant impact on the environment.
- Yet, even as he rejected this America-Canada pipeline, he made a deal that allows Iran to transport more oil through its pipeline that would have ever flowed through Keystone –with no environmental review.
President Obama has done everything he can to kill the coal industry. Here are a few of President Obama’s decrees:
Regulations that shut down hundreds of coal-fired power plants and block the construction of new ones.
A prohibition against coal production on federal land.
Draconian climate rules that, unless stopped, would effectively bypass Congress to impose job-killing cap-and-trade.
President Obama has aggressively blocked the production of oil & natural gas:
- He’s taken a huge percentage of the Alaska National Petroleum Reserve off the table
- Oil and natural gas production on federal lands is down 10%.
- 87% of available land in the Outer Continental Shelf has been put off limits.
- Atlantic Lease sales were closed down too – despite the fact that they would create 280,000 jobs and $23.5 billion in economic activity.
- President Obama entered the United States into the Paris Climate Accords – unilaterally, and without the permission of Congress. This agreement gives foreign bureaucrats control over how much energy we use right here in America.
These actions have denied millions of Americans access to the energy wealth sitting under our feet.
This is your treasure, and you – the American People – are entitled to share in the riches.
President Obama’s anti-energy orders have also weakened our security, by keeping us reliant on foreign sources of energy.
Every dollar of energy we don’t explore here, is a dollar of energy that makes someone else rich over there.
If President Obama wanted to weaken America he couldn’t have done a better job.
As bad as President Obama is, Hillary Clinton will be worse.
- She will escalate the war against American energy, and unleash the EPA to control every aspect of our lives.
- She declared that “we’ve got to move away from coal and all the other fossil fuels,” locking away trillions in American wealth.
- In March, Hillary Clinton said: “by the time we get through all of my conditions, I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place.” Keep in mind, shale energy production could add 2 million jobs in 7 years.
Yet, while Hillary Clinton doesn’t want American energy, she is strongly in favor of foreign energy. Here is what she told China as Secretary of State:
- “American experts and Chinese experts will work to develop China’s natural gas resources. Imagine what it would mean for China if China unleashed its own natural gas resources so you are not dependent on foreign oil.”
Hillary Clinton has her priorities wrong. But we are going to turn all of that around.
A Trump Administration will develop an America First energy plan. Here is how this plan will make America Wealthy Again:
- American energy dominance will be declared a strategic economic and foreign policy goal of the United States.
- America has 1.5 times as much oil as the combined proven resources of all OPEC countries; we have more Natural Gas than Russia, Iran, Qatar and Saudi Arabia Combined; we have three times more coal than Russia. Our total untapped oil and gas reserves on federal lands equal an estimated $50 trillion.
- We will become, and stay, totally independent of any need to import energy from the OPEC cartel or any nations hostile to our interests.
- At the same time, we will work with our Gulf allies to develop a positive energy relationship as part of our anti-terrorism strategy.
- We will use the revenues from energy production to rebuild our roads, schools, bridges and public infrastructure. Cheaper energy will also boost American agriculture.
- We will get the bureaucracy out of the way of innovation, so we can pursue all forms of energy. This includes renewable energies and the technologies of the future. It includes nuclear, wind and solar energy – but not to the exclusion of other energy. The government should not pick winners and losers. Instead, it should remove obstacles to exploration. Any market has ups and downs, but lifting these draconian barriers will ensure that we are no longer at the mercy of global markets.
A Trump Administration will focus on real environmental challenges, not phony ones:
- We will reject Hillary Clinton’s poverty-expansion agenda that enriches her friends and makes everyone else poor.
- We’ll solve real environmental problems in our communities like the need for clean and safe drinking water. President Obama actually tried to cut the funding for our drinking water infrastructure – even as he pushed to increase funding for his EPA bureaucrats.
- American workers will be the ones building this new infrastructure.
Here is my 100-day action plan:
- We’re going to rescind all the job-destroying Obama executive actions including the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule.
- We’re going to save the coal industry and other industries threatened by Hillary Clinton’s extremist agenda.
- I’m going to ask Trans Canada to renew its permit application for the Keystone Pipeline.
- We’re going to lift moratoriums on energy production in federal areas
- We’re going to revoke policies that impose unwarranted restrictions on new drilling technologies. These technologies create millions of jobs with a smaller footprint than ever before.
- We’re going to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement and stop all payments of U.S. tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs.
- Any regulation that is outdated, unnecessary, bad for workers, or contrary to the national interest will be scrapped. We will also eliminate duplication, provide regulatory certainty, and trust local officials and local residents.
- Any future regulation will go through a simple test: is this regulation good for the American worker? If it doesn’t pass this test, the rule will not be approved.
Policy decisions will be public and transparent. They won’t be made on Hillary’s private email account.
We’re going to do all this while taking proper regard for rational environmental concerns. We are going to conserve our beautiful natural habitats, reserves and resources.
In a Trump Administration, political activists with extreme agendas will no longer write the rules. Instead, we will work with conservationists whose only agenda is protecting nature.
From an environmental standpoint, my priorities are very simple: clean air and clean water.
My America First energy plan will do for the American People what Hillary Clinton will never do: create real jobs and real wage growth.
According to the Institute for Energy Research, lifting the restrictions on American energy will create a flood of new jobs:
- Almost a $700 billion increase in annual economic output over the next 30 years.
- More than a $30 billion increase in annual wages over the next 7 years.
- Over the next four decades, more than $20 trillion in additional economic activity and $6 trillion in new tax revenue.
The oil and natural gas industry supports 10 million high-paying Americans jobs and can create another 400,000 new jobs per year. This exploration will also create a resurgence in American manufacturing — dramatically reducing both our trade deficit and our budget deficit.
My agenda will be accomplished through a series of reforms that put America First:
- Energy reform that creates trillions in new wealth.
- Immigration reform that protects our borders and defends our workers.
- Tax reform that brings millions of new jobs to America.
- Regulation reform that eliminates stupid rules that send our jobs overseas.
- Welfare reform that requires employers to recruit from the unemployment office – not the immigration office.
- Trade reform that brings back our manufacturing jobs and stands up to countries that cheat.
There is one more thing we must do to make America wealthy again: we have to make our communities safe again.
Violent crime is rising in major cities across the country. This is unacceptable. Every parent has the right to raise their kids in safety.
When we put political correctness before justice, we hurt those who have the least. It undermines their schools, slashes the value of their homes, and drives away their jobs.
Crime is a stealth tax on the poor.
To those living in fear, I say: help is coming. A Trump Administration will return law and order to America. Security is not something that should only be enjoyed by the rich and powerful.
By the way, I was endorsed by the National Rifle Association, and we are not going to let Hillary Clinton abolish the 2nd amendment, either.
My reform agenda is going to bring wealth and security to the poorest communities in this country.
What does Hillary have to offer the poor but more of the same?
In Chicago, for instance, one-fourth of young Hispanics and one-third of young African-Americans are unemployed.
My message today to all the people trapped in poverty is this: politicians like Hillary Clinton have failed you.
They have used you.
You need something new. I am the only who will deliver it.
We are going to put America back to work.
We are going to put people before government.
We are going to rebuild our inner cities.
We are going to make you and your family safe, secure and prosperous.
The choice in November is a choice between a Clinton Agenda that puts Donors First – or a new agenda that puts America First.
It is a choice between a Clinton government of, by and for the powerful – or a return to government of, by and for the people.
It is a choice between certain decline, or a revival of America’s promise.
The people in charge of our government say things can’t change.
I am here to tell you that things have to change.
They want you to keep trusting the same people who’ve betrayed you.
I am here to tell you that if you keep supporting those who’ve let you down, then you will keep getting let down for the rest of your life.
I am prepared to kick the special interests out of Washington, D.C. and to hand their seat of power over to you.
It’s about time.
Together, we will put the American people first again.
We will make our communities wealthy again.
We will make our cities safe again.
We will make our country strong again.
Ladies and Gentlemen: We will make America Great Again.