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George Clooney, favorite Kentucky son, says in Vanity Fair to keep fighting for deep red states

“Growing up as a Democrat in Kentucky helped George Clooney get used to fighting impossible battles. With the presidential election fast approaching, the activist and actor says progressives should not give up on fighting for deep red states—even if the challenge seems insurmountable,” Anthony Breznican reports for Vanity Fair.

George Clooney (Wikimedia Commons)

Clooney said real change takes a long time and that people must stick with it even through repeated defeats.

“Of course you fight the losing fights, and of course you go into them fully expecting that you’re going to lose this fight,” Clooney told Breznican. “But that’s how democracy works. You fight it, and fight it, and at some point it changes.”

The current political division in the U.S. is as bad as Clooney has ever seen it.

Internet misinformation, structural inequalities, and anger are at the root of it, and President Trump helped fan the flames:

“The truth of the matter is, the United States has always been a tinderbox. We’ve always had a portion of the country that has issues, anger, and, in general, we usually have presidents who try not to foment that anger. We try to find common ground and peace . . . [Now] we have someone who is taking a blowtorch to it. You’re seeing 35 percent of the country getting furious. When we have someone not like that, things will calm down somewhat.”

Clooney grew up in Northern Kentucky, primarily Augusta, and attended Northern Kentucky University.

He compared losing elections to his many years advocating for human rights in Africa. He was famously arrested with father Nick Clooney at a protest at the Sudanese Embassy in Washington D.C. several years back, urging the arrest of former Sundanese President Omar al-Bashir.

Clooney told  Breznican:

“All of those things, every one of them was futile. I got an award by the Nobel Laureates at one point. There’s the Dalai Lama standing there, handing you this plaque and my speech was about how we’ve never won. We’ve never succeeded, we’ve never accomplished. People are still dying in Sudan, and Darfur and South Sudan.

“Every speech was: we’re not winning but that doesn’t mean we don’t keep the fight up, It doesn’t mean don’t keep doing it.

“Now, a few weeks ago, I saw Omar al-Bashir in the docket, and he’s in jail. Yes, it took 20 years, but guess what — it happened. . . .

“It doesn’t hurt to lose. It hurts to not try.”

See full Vanity Fair story here.

The Rural Blog and staff report

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