March 15, 2009

"Ron Silver died peacefully in his sleep with his family around him this morning."

RIP.

Very sad. What a great actor. He was also a staunch, admirable supporter of the war on terrorism.

AND: From my notes on the 2004 Republican Convention:
The New York actor Ron Silver introduces the subject of the 9/11 attacks. He yells: "We will never forget. We will never forgive. We will never excuse." At that, a huge cheer bursts out ("Yeah!"). The camera scans the crowd and shows George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush laughing and nodding and clapping. Following the long cheer, Silver quotes General MacArthur: "At the end of World War II, Douglas MacArthur ... said, 'It is my earnest hope, indeed the hope of all mankind, that from this solemn occasion, a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past, a world found[ed] upon faith, understanding, a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfilment of his most cherished wish for freedom, tolerance, and justice.' The hope he expressed then remains relevant today." There is no cheer, but Silver pauses and waits for a cheer, and a short cheer ensues. But definitely, and disturbingly, for this crowd "We will never excuse" was a much more popular sentiment than the hope of a better world. Later, he gets another heartfelt cheer: when he says "This is a war in which we had to respond." He criticizes his fellow entertainers who catalogue the world's wrongs but are unwilling to fight against them. He says, emphatically, "The President is doing exactly the right thing."
It took courage for an actor to say that — in that prominent setting. The President is doing exactly the right thing.

45 comments:

MadisonMan said...

I've always confused him with Ron Glass, which makes no sense whatever. RIP.

Host with the Most said...

What character that man had.

The willingness to put his carreer on the line for for an industry full of guilty celebrities that aren't fit to tie the man's shoes.

It's not about his politics. It's about his willingness to stand up to the liberal fascism of an industry that makes it's money on entertainment and then confuses it's success with a "calling" to instruct the rest of the world. Which is fine. Except when it decides to shut out those who differ politically.

Ron Silver, rest in peace.

Liberal Hollywood, go to hell.

Deana said...

Host with the Most -

You are right.

He was a man with character (and courage) in a world that sometimes seems to have little.

I respect him and hope his family can take comfort in knowing that many people admired him.

SteveR said...

Esophageal cancer killed my mother in 1971. Its a bad one. Mr. Silver was a very good actor and earned my admiration for his post 9/11 stance. RIP.

Minty Fresh said...

a staunch, admirable supporter of the war on terrorism.

Oh really. And was he able to articulate what that actually means, or how we would even know if we won?

sierra said...

"The President is doing exactly the right thing." I still remember him saying those words, and stressing the word "exactly" so as to make it sting. R.I.P.

traditionalguy said...

Minty Fresh... The war on terrorism was the war against Osama bin laden's guerrilla faction of the Saudi Arabian/Sunni world conquest operation. The key battle was taking out and re-configuring the political institutions of an available target nationstate called Iraq. That tore the Saudi/sunnis a new asshole. They sent in the best warriors they could find and the USMC slaughtered them wholesale. They have now retreated into the Afghanistan mountains to re equip and reconstitute their leadership. Unless the Demos turn this into another Viet Nam in Afghanistan by Sending in small units for AlQueda to slaughter in ambushes, we will soon have the total American control over the Saudi/sunnis put back into place.That is when the war on terror will have been won.

John Y. said...

Absolutely. It takes real courage to stand up against civil liberties!

Host with the Most said...

By any standard, MF, we won in Iraq.

Keeping the peace is now the responsibility of the Iraqis. But even if that fails, the words of President Obama stand:

And so I want to be very clear: We sent our troops to Iraq to do away with Saddam Hussein’s regime – and you got the job done. We kept our troops in Iraq to help establish a sovereign government – and you got the job done. And we will leave the Iraqi people with a hard-earned opportunity to live a better life – that is your achievement; that is the prospect that you have made possible.

Only those committed to American failure and a less-than-full grasp of reality can convince themselves that the US didn't win in Iraq.

Host with the Most said...

John Y.

Put me down as being in support of you and people like you losing their citizenship and therefore, the civil liberties they are unwilling to defend and pay any cost for.

Lem said...

What HWTM said @ 8:42

(except for Liberal Hollywood, go to hell... a little too strong for me)

traditionalguy said...

John Y... The goal is still Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness. No one has lost a civil liberty as yet. More importantly you and me are still alive. So why not go pursue some happiness and quit whining about how super dumb and super clever Bush/Cheney were to do that for you against your wishes.

John Stodder said...

Click the link. The NY Post story says:

Once a self-identified lifelong Democrat, Silver was a founding member of the liberal-leaning Creative Coalition in 1989. But he made a breathtaking political transformation, going from far left to radical right after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

I think he was acknowledging the logic of the war on terror, or Islamo-fascism or whatever you call it, beginning with the fact that the war was declared on us long before any US leaders took it seriously. That doesn't make him a radical anything. Except in the warped minds of way too many people.

Lem said...

Pajamas Roger L Simon, In Memoriam

... Then 9/11 came and Ron and I were thrown together once again. We were 9/11 Democrats. We talked on the phone about our journey and the alienation we were feeling from some our friends, but we didn’t come face-to-face until the Republican Convention of 2004. I was a blogger there and feeling rather weird – an old leftie gone right – but there was Ron, far more out than I was, speaking to the entire convention. And he was brilliant. The man could speak in public as well as almost any politician and he had more intellectual background than almost all of them too. He swept the convention audience off their feet.

Ron and I renewed our friendship in the corridors of Madison Square Garden that year and that friendship became faster than it ever was. I think I knew better than most what he was going through in the political sphere, had some sense of his feelings when confronting his peers in the entertainment industry. He gave me tremendous strength. I hope I give [gave] him back even a hundredth of what he gave me.

Eli Blake said...

It took courage for an actor to say that - in that prominent setting. The President is doing exactly the right thing.

If only it were true.

Unfortunately the decision by the President of that day to put Afghanistan/Pakistan on the back burner and go invade Iraq has turned out to be precisely the wrong thing; with the resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan and political instability in Pakistan the cost of President Bush's wrong decision is likely to be the survival of al-Qaeda as a threat.

It is truly the depth of irony to realize that as he said those words the President had already made decisions that have effectively guaranteed the survival of the organization and at least some of the folks directly responsible for 9/11.

Host with the Most said...

Eli,

Your parroted lines of the liberal talking points about Afghanistan - a rope-a-dope attempt by the anti-war left to appear somewhat national security minded - would have more standing if actual military commanders overwhelmingly agreed with you. Only a few do.

Therefore, you sound ridiculous talking about something you so obviously know nothing about.

Host with the Most said...

This post will obviously be used as an attempt to derail the conversation into another limitless - and fruitless - debate about the merits of Bush wars.

The topic at hand, though, is the fact that Ron Silver stood out because he was unique when he really shouldn't have had to be.

Paul Begala writes a surprisingly honorable tribute to the character of Ron Silver.

I was as passionately opposed to the war in Iraq as Ron was supportive of it; I was as appalled by the Bush presidency as he was enthralled by it, and yet he never questioned my patriotism, my support for the troops or my commitment to confronting terrorism. Just because someone had a different opinion, that did not make him a bad person in Ron's eyes.

As a fan of his movies and television roles, I will miss his acting. But as a political hyperbolist who sometimes goes too far, I will miss his civility even more.

Lem said...

Unfortunately the decision by the President of that day to put Afghanistan/Pakistan on the back burner and go invade Iraq has turned out to be precisely the wrong thing; with the resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan and political instability in Pakistan the cost of President Bush's wrong decision is likely to be the survival of al-Qaeda as a threat.

There are so many qualifiers in that statement, one can only deduce a kind of prayer, a wish for a falier that seemed to have been promised.
Like a kind of second coming.. A Florida recount.. that bears no resemblance to reality.

BTW - it remains to be seen if the president of this day will undo many if any of the Bush WOT policies.

SteveR said...

"effectively guaranteed the survival of the organization and at least some of the folks directly responsible for 9/11"

No one has made a case that the maintenance of a singular focus in Afghanistan as having any real effect on OBL's organizational strength considering where it stands today and under the assumption that we were not going to invade Pakistan.

It makes for a great "what if" though.

Host with the Most said...

and yet he never questioned my patriotism, my support for the troops or my commitment to confronting terrorism. Just because someone had a different opinion, that did not make him a bad person in Ron's eyes.

Amazingly,from all of the public record available about George W Bush, the very same thing could be said about him. In fact, numerous times President Bush publicly stated that Americans of good will can disagree about the war in Iraq and how he was running it - and he never questioned their patriotism.

I'm not holding my breath for any tributes from the left to that grace of President Bush towards his self-styled enemies.

TitusishomefromPtown said...

I don't care about the politic stuff but find this very sad.

I loved him when he played Allen Dershowitz in Reversal of Fortune.

I saw him on television last summer and he looked very sick. He was much thinner, wearing a hat, and I didn't recognize him.

He was too young. Cancer sucks.

Host with the Most said...

From The Washington Post Obit on Ron Silver:

Of his (Ron Silver's) later rightward lurch after the 2001 terrorist attacks, he told the New York Times he was disappointed by the repercussions in his social life.

When he received invitations to parties, he said, "there's no engagement. It's 'Ron, you're too smart for this,' 'Ron, you must be kidding,' 'Ron can we not talk about the war and have a nice dinner party?' And then they talk about it, but everybody has the same opinion."

John Stodder said...

Unfortunately the decision by the President of that day to put Afghanistan/Pakistan on the back burner and go invade Iraq...

Dude, the campaign's over. This kind of shallow and historically inaccurate spin can and should be retired or else you'll be considered a fool, even by some of your friends.

To deal with just one of your specious claims, Afghanistan and Pakistan were never "put on the back burner," except maybe by the media. The US strategic objectives w/r/t each of the three countries were and are different.

I'm actually glad Obama is in charge of those strategies now. Fresh set of eyes, different skill sets, the energy of someone new and fresh, and all that. Bush was right strategically, pretty mixed tactically. If Obama follows the strategy, which he seems to be doing, but alters the tactics, I'm good.

But also I'm expecting Obama to herd errant and erring Democrats back into touch with the realities Bush faced and now Obama is facing every day.

I never thought Silver became a right-winger when he embraced Bush on the war. I never thought I became one either. The war was only regarded as a right-wing cause by cynical opportunistic politicians and media types, with minds and consciences as light as pigeon feathers. If you listened to the things Silver said, you weren't listening to a right-winger, you were listening to an intelligent American of the center-left who put his country first in his thoughts, and the logic flowed from there.

blake said...

Actually, John (Stodder), if you read the Post obit all the way down, they talk about his swing back to the left, as far as the current economic issues go.

I don't agree with what the paper says his stance was, but I get the sense you could have a conversation with the guy on the topic and, you know, both come away a little smarter than before (even if not in agreement).

Whereas some people just make everyone dumber every time they open their mouths.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Yeah, what all of you said. The war in Iraq was a brilliant idea and it had to be done. Thank goodness it went well and everything ended up fine. People like Silver who supported it know what they're talking about.

blake said...

What I liked about Silver as an actor was that he got better over time. His '70s stuff was not really polished (see "Rhoda") but by the time you get to Blue Steel, he's miles better.

He did a guest spot on "Chicago Hope" where he locked horns with Mandy Patinkin that was marvellous TV. The two do simultaneous rants about 18 inches from each other's noses.

John Stodder said...

The war in Iraq was a brilliant idea and it had to be done.

That's not a very hard case to make actually, though I would never use the word "brilliant" to describe something as hideous as war. It was strategically productive.

The Iraq war is going to figure into a lot of counterfactual histories yet to be written. There will be many days when people will say they are glad Hussein is gone. There will be few when they say they wish he was still around -- although lately I've been reading the left's fantasy that if Hussein was still around, Iran would be weaker and farther from having nuclear weapons. I hope the left is happy with its evolutionary process; you guys are Donald Rumsfeld, c. 1982 or so.

It will take as long as 50 years to see with any clarity how brilliant an idea it was, or not.

Joan said...

Thank goodness it went well and everything ended up fine.

By any objective historical standard, this is demonstrably true. It's 6 years now since we went in, but there has been a democratically elected government in place for some time now. Of course things aren't totally peachy in Iraq now, but there is a functioning democracy and mostly Iraqi forces are maintaining the peace there now.

I had tremendous respect for Silver. May he rest in peace, and may his friends and family find some comfort that his suffering has finally come to an end.

Gahrie said...

1) What made Ron Silver stand out and worthy of respect was a single word: integrity. Everything I've read or heard about the man leads me to believe that he had integrity.

2) I am really offended when they discuss Ron Silver's support for the war as a "lurch" to the right and his recent politics as "radical" right wing. He didn't lurch to the right, he simply refused to allow dogmatic politics to prevent him from supporting our president in time of war.

Frankly those of you on the left should be just as apalled at the characterizations used to describe Silver's politics. The coarsening of politics helps no one.

Mr. Forward said...

"Dramatic Advances Sweep Iraq, Boosting Support for Democracy
ABC News/BBC/NHK National Survey of Iraq
ANALYSIS by GARY LANGER
March 16, 2009 —

Dramatic advances in public attitudes are sweeping Iraq, with declining violence, rising economic well-being and improved services lifting optimism, fueling confidence in public institutions and bolstering support for democracy.

The gains in the latest ABC News/BBC/NHK poll represent a stunning reversal of the spiral of despair caused by Iraq's sectarian violence in 2006 and 2007. The sweeping rebound, extending initial improvements first seen a year ago, marks no less than the opportunity for a new future for Iraq and its people."

Freder Frederson said...

It took courage for an actor to say that — in that prominent setting. The President is doing exactly the right thing.?

This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard in my life. It took courage for an actor to support the President at the Republican National Convention in 2004? Are you freaking kidding me? Next you'll be telling us it was "courageous" for Fred Thompson to run for president and Sonny Bono or Fred Grandy were brave ("Gopher" from the Love Boat for those of you too young to remember) to run for Congress as Republicans.

For the myth that Hollywood is full of liberals who blackball all conservatives, it sure seems that when it actually comes to electing actors, they are more likely to be Republicans than Democrats.

LarsPorsena said...

"For the myth that Hollywood is full of liberals who blackball all conservatives,.."

Does someone have to draw a you chart for you the of the money trail from Hollywood to the DNC and its members?

MadisonMan said...

The thing I always disliked about your description, Professor, is that Pres. Elder Bush and Barbara are shown laughing after the remarks. What a politically clumsy move on their part -- it seems completely wrongheaded to me. And I wonder how careful that description of them was.

Hoosier Daddy said...

For the myth that Hollywood is full of liberals who blackball all conservatives...

Well said Freder. I mean we all know that Hollywood is a bastion of conservative ideology.

For poor actors like Alec Baldwin and Babs Streisand, it's everything they can do to get their voices heard above the din.

Big Mike said...

Esophageal cancer is a lousy way to die.

Interesting that Freder characterizes a remark about the liberalism (I guess he would say the "alleged" liberalism) of Hollywood as "the most ridiculous thing [he] ever heard in his life." For me the most ridiculous thing I ever heard in my life is Barack Obama asserting that he is not in favor of big government.

Freeman Hunt said...

For the myth that Hollywood is full of liberals who blackball all conservatives,

LOL "The myth..." Of course when you fudge with the "all conservatives" I guess you can call it a myth, a myth that no one espouses.

It's a shame to lose Silver. He was a great actor.

Host with the Most said...

Expecting Freder to have a close relationship with both reason and reality is on a par with hoping that John McCain can still pull out the win in last years election.

It is obvious to everyone that it is better for the anti-Bush dedicated liberal to be quiet on this post and thought a fool, than to write something here and dispel all doubt.

Kirk Parker said...

Lem,

"(except for Liberal Hollywood, go to hell... a little too strong for me)"

Go to heck, then?

John Stodder, great catch! Radical Right indeed! More like the Broad Middle, that same area our hostess here appears to inhabit most of the time.

Eli,

"Whereas some people just make everyone dumber every time they open their mouths."

Sounds like the voice of experience talking!

Cedarford said...

I didn't know he was ill. Too bad. A wonderful character actor and an articulate champion for his political beliefs.
In the same NY Post, Don Imus announced he has Stage 2 prostate cancer. Not as dire as a diagnosis of esophogeal cancer, but cause for concern.

I hope that Silver's passing will not be cause to debate politics. I remember when Paul Newman died a short while ago the Vietnam War and Nixon were not dredged up. Nor his stupid checks to Black Panthers legal defense. Just moderates, liberals and conservatives lamenting Newman being gone and celebrating his many life accomplishments as a real mensch.
Ron Silver deserves the same treatment, as do all the non-celebrities we personally know.

My uncle just died a few days ago after a year and a half battle with stomach cancer. He was a failed Texas lawyer, had epilepsy, batled alcoholism. A liberal Texas Democrat from a Republican family who ended up dying broke and predeceased by his only son..We disagreed with him on just about everything. Sort of a black sheep in our family.

But he was also the guy that loved all kids, rescued dogs, and once cut an arm nearly to the bone holding barbed wire open so a family could escape from East Berlin. He was a man, too.

fcai said...

Don't draw Freder a chart - he cannot follow such a complicated construct.

In his world Duke Wayne still rides herd on the pissy little liberal pussies in Hollywood.

Way to keep up to date, Freddie - you are a cutting edge useful idiot.

Original Mike said...

Crap.

Host with the Most said...

In his world Duke Wayne still rides herd on the pissy little liberal pussies in Hollywood.

fcay,

That is an incredibly funny visual in my brain right now. The Duke herding mooing Sean Penns and Brad Pitts, et al towards the corral.



Thank you!

Trooper York said...

Think slaughter house Host, think slaughter house.

USpace said...

.
God bless Ron Silver, he was a 'Liberal' who came to his senses about Jihadis and Dictators. He knew they would destroy America, and Hollywood if they could. He realized that if America goes down the tubes, then the whole planet is doomed.

You were great Ron! Time Cop, Arrival, Wiseguy, and The West Wing among many were particularly good. Thank you for everything, especially your courage, RIP.
.
here's an absurd thought -
our God of the Universe
hates ALL Liberals

who admit their errors
and move Right on defense

.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe hates
the principles of FREEDOM

fascism comes from the Right
that is a lie of the Left

.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
YOU'RE RIGHT WING

because you hate dictators
and don't blame America
.
USpace
.
All real freedom starts with freedom of speech. Without freedom of speech there can be no real freedom.
.
Philosophy of Liberty Cartoon
.
Visit: HaltTerrorism.com
.

:)
.

Floridan said...

We demean the truly courageous when we describe a speech supporting the president and his policies given at his party's convention as somehow taking "courage."