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Matthew McConaughey’s possible run for Texas governor makes me nervous

Matthew McConaughey’s possible run for Texas governor makes me nervous

Matthew McConaughey’s possible run for Texas governor makes me nervous
March 25
13:00 2021

Academy award winning actor Matthew McConaughey has made waves for publicly stating interest in possibly running for Texas governor in the upcoming 2022 election cycle. McConaughey stated his disillusion with the current state of politics and called it “a broken business” last year. In this hypothetical situation, there is a large chance that he will run against Gov. Greg Abbott and will almost certainly have the means to win. Abbott is unpopular as Texan’s approval of him shifts. McConaughey has a highly recognizable name that will be sure to drawn in support of fellow celebrities. However, this is certainly a case of just because you can, does not mean you should.

First, I’ll admit that McConaughey is one of my favorite actors. He’s got serious classics under his belt such as “Dallas Buyer’s Club,” “Dazed and Confused,” “Interstellar” and so much more. Despite being one of the most recognizable names in Hollywood, the Austin native’s potential campaign is already shrouded in mystery. We don’t know if he’s going to run as a republican, democrat or as a third-party candidate. The closest we have to an answer is in his 2020 autobiography “Greenlights,” where he said he came from a long line of rule breakers and outlaw libertarians who voted red to keep people from trespassing on their property. Other than this, he has repeatedly denied to comment where he stands politically, only his interest to serve the people of Texas.

McConaughey has voted in Texas twice since 2012 which were the 2018 and 2020 general elections, according to an article by The Texas Tribune. He voted early both times and voted by mail-in-ballot during the 2020 election. There is no record of him making campaign contributions on a state or federal level. This is important information to know because democrats are eager to remove Abbott from office, especially after his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and Texas energy crisis. The only serious challenger democrats have hopes in is former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

Speaking of which, McConaughey does have a history with O’Rourke. He was seen posing in a picture with O’Rourke when the latter ran against Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018. McConaughey later ran into O’Rourke again at a 2019 benefit concert for the victims of the El Paso Walmart massacre. O’Rourke has spoken out against Abbott for his handling of the Texas winter storm and has also expressed interest in possibly running against Abbott in 2022.

An added reservation for McConaughey’s possible bid comes from past experiences with celebrities who enter politics. Even if McConaughey’s heart is in the right place for Texans, we are facing a crisis due to weather, federal regulations and bad leadership. What Texas needs is someone with political experience like O’Rourke, someone who has a better understanding of the political game in order to enact change instead of figuring it out as you go along the way.

McConaughey does have volunteer experience as recently as lending his voice for a PSA against human trafficking in Texas, attending benefit concerts and even organizing a virtual benefit concert to aid Texans affected by the winter storm. This looks good for a political resume but what are policies he’s keen on focusing on, if any? This isn’t to say celebrities can’t run for political office and be successful. Former President Ronald Reagan began his political career as California governor and went on to become one of the greatest presidents in American history.

However, does having celebrities in political office damage the credibility of the political office they hold and public perception of the title? Looking at it from a non-partisan perspective, our former president was not highly regarded by world leaders in our alliance or by the civilians of their respective countries.

McConaughey would have a lot of responsibility to take on if he were to go through his political bid for governor and we don’t even know his stance on specific laws. He would have to convince people to see him not as the actor or University of Texas professor. Whatever party he chooses to run, if I can look at his policies and agree with most of them, he would have my support.

Featured Illustration by Olivia Varnell

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Adrian Maldonado

Adrian Maldonado

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