Alec Baldwin Should Have Become a Conservative. It Would Have Saved His Life
“By the time I was ten,” Alec Baldwin writes in his 2017 memoir Nevertheless,
[M]y political consciousness was nearly concretized. I’m no different from people who are raised in a home that is for or anti any of the issues of the day: the NRA, immigration, gay marriage, abortion, or Obamacare. Politicization starts at home. My politics are my dad’s politics, based on the simple idea that, as the richest nation on Earth, America has a greater obligation to reach out and help those who have not realized even a modicum of what we take for granted here.
Had Baldwin’s politics matured beyond a ten-year-old’s, the actor may not have found himself in the terrible trouble he is now in. On October 21, 2021, at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in New Mexico, he accidentally shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, and wounded director Joel Souza on the set of the film Rust. The mayhem was the result of a prop revolver discharging a live round while Baldwin handled it. The story has been all over the media.
Weeping, Spinning, and Blaming
In a ridiculous interview on ABC with DNC gnome George Stephanopoulos, Baldwin broke down in tears, while insisting that he felt no guilt about what had happened. “Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that is,” Baldwin told Stephanopoulos in the interview. “But I know it’s not me.”
Had a single National Rifle Association safety advisor been on the set of Rust (as they are on other movie sets), Halyna Hutchins might be alive right now. Her death is the result of the kind of dogmatic, self-righteous leftism that Baldwin espouses. The tight grip of Baldwin’s unwavering belief system pulled the trigger. The ego that has made him rage against the NRA created the environment that made a tragic accident possible. Humility, political and otherwise, could have saved lives.
I’ve actually had some interactions with Baldwin in the past, and while they always haven’t been pleasant, I do consider him a great actor, if a poor political philosopher. I also wonder why he isn’t right-wing. I mean, the man played Jack Ryan in a Tom Clancy movie. He also hates the media.
Baldwin is unbendingly leftist. He viciously mocks President Trump on Saturday Night Live, and once sent out tweets calling Republicans “lying thieves.” He supports gay marriage and stricter gun control measures. He has attended fundraisers with Jane Fonda, and he adored President Obama.
That Rare Thing, a Woke Blue-Collar Kid
And yet reading Nevertheless, I felt like I could be hearing the story of a conservative. A kid from a poor Catholic family in Massapequa, Long Island, Baldwin went into acting not to make the world a better place, but for the money. To those of us on the right, that’s a valid reason to do something. The most touching parts of Nevertheless are the descriptions of the early years of Baldwin’s life. He had to grapple with the anxiety of living in a house with an exhausted father and a mother who relied on pills to get through the day.
Baldwin’s father Alexander was a high school teacher and coach who struggled financially. The family was always bouncing checks and their Long Island house was perpetually falling apart. This experience may have cemented in Baldwin’s mind the idea that the left, which promises everybody everything, is actually on the side of the little guy. “Six kids and no help,” Baldwin used to repeat to himself in reference to his mother. “Acting was a way to ease, though never eliminate, the financial anxieties of a boy from South Shore Long island who remains inside me today,” Baldwin observes. “I’m writing [Nevertheless] because I was paid to do it.” Ben Shapiro or Greg Gutfeld could not have said it better.
A Higher But Very Faint Power
Baldwin also writes about God as a guiding force in his life, especially after he got sober in the early 1990s. Still, his description of a higher power is very vague and generalized. Baldwin does not go into any detail about getting sober. That leads me to believe that instead of a transformative spiritual experience, Baldwin may well be a dry drunk, white-knuckling it through for decades.
When you first give up demon rum — I stopped in 1990, not far off from Baldwin — a vast reservoir of rage rises up in your soul. You’re angry at yourself, at loved ones, at enablers who got you high, pretty much at the entire world. It takes months and years or prayer, personal inventory, and guidance from wiser sober people to drain the swamp of belligerence.
Then one day, you wake up and the world seems a less threatening place. You are surrounded by people who love you. You begin to reconsider people you’d thought had let you down, and realize it might be the other way round. Even if you can’t love your enemies, you understand them better. God’s mercy and love begins to penetrate your soul. You forgive.
Maybe Time for Another Inventory, Alex?
You also have a chance to reassess your old rigid certainties. But Baldwin has never done so. Ironically, that’s probably because fame, wealth, and Hollywood glamour have sundered Baldwin from his working class Long Island roots. Yes, most people first form their political opinions at the feet of their parents. But those with a mind as agile as Baldwin’s usually question their political beliefs when they get older. Like Baldwin, they stop partying, have children, and reconsider once-settled questions. That often leads them to become more conservative.
In one section of Nevertheless, Baldwin calls the New York of the 1970s, where he lived as a struggling young actor, “filthy and unlovable.” The city was turned around by the policies of Republican mayor Rudy Giuliani, who gets nothing but scorn from Baldwin. Maybe that’s something he should think through again.
Baldwin writes that his father Alexander loved John F. Kennedy and even attended the funeral in Washington when Kennedy was killed in 1963. Young Alec was five when Kennedy died, and Kennedy’s death was the future actors’ first political memory.
My own father, a brilliant journalist for National Geographic, also idolized JFK. Yet the Democratic party so championed by Baldwin changed dramatically after Kennedy’s death. From JFK’s tax cuts, pro-American optimism, and unquestioned pro-life stance, the party slid into backing abortion, identity politics, and massive wealth redistribution. It is now an army of socialists. Baldwin’s father died in 1983, but he was exactly the kind of no-nonsense, working class man who was raised on Kennedy but might have voted for Trump in 2016.
Never Apologize, Never Explain
Through sheer hard work, Alec Baldwin has lived the American dream. He’s rich, accomplished, happily married, and loved. Had he been willing to challenge his ironclad assumptions about, well, anything, he may have had an NRA advisor on Rust. It was Baldwin’s steel dogmatic leftism that pulled the trigger.
There’s no indication he is capable of self-doubt. Shortly after the death of Halyna Hutchins, Baldwin began tweeting out excuses and panicky self-defenses. I replied to him that after taking a human life it might “be a time for prayer and contemplation.” It was a time to turn to God, the only one who could provide peace and show a way ahead.
Seconds later, Baldwin blocked me.
Mark Judge is a writer and filmmaker in Washington, D.C.