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Susan Estrich
8 Oct 2014
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Ron Silver

Comment

He was positively infuriating. I e-mailed his then-girlfriend, as the crowd was applauding him at Madison Square Garden in 2004, that I hoped she wasn't dating the (expletive deleted) anymore. She was.

Ron hammered me about that e-mail: Did I like a friend less because I disagreed with him on politics? Did I doubt the sincerity of his beliefs? Did I think there could be any reason other than an honest passion that would support his being there? No, absolutely not.

He was committing career suicide, I told him, during one of those flights back from a debate somewhere. You better hope George Bush loses, because if he wins, they'll blame you. Ron wasn't sure whether it would be better or worse for him, professionally speaking, if Bush won, but he was quite sure, as was I, that it would be bad either way.

It's one thing to support George Bush in 2004 because you always support people named Bush — that is, because you're a Republican. But for an outspoken backer of President Clinton, a longtime liberal activist and the New York guru of the Hollywood lefty Creative Coalition to be picking Bush over Kerry on prime time was a sure-fire way to ensure that you'd never work in this town again.

Ron believed what he believed. He was happy to debate with you about which of you was right until the waiters wanted to go home or the cows did, but he believed firmly and passionately and did not believe in compromise about that. He had to stand up for what he believed in; it was who he was.

And he did.

Around the time of supporting Bush, he said and did all kinds of things that made liberals who didn't know him dislike him very much. And that he did it as a staunch defender of Israel, something many of us fancy ourselves to be, made it all the more annoying. He was not popular in this town or its dominant business as a result.

He paid the price professionally, as if he had done something terribly wrong — only mega-stars can get away with that. He was punished for his honesty about his politics and because what he said mattered. How's that for irony? Just another actor could have gotten away with it. But he was definitely punished. Bias? For sure. In his memory, it should be said.

Ron was a great and celebrated actor: Tony-winning, Emmy-much nominated, one of the few who ever moved between stage, television and film with the same fluidity with which he crossed from the creative to the political worlds. He delighted in politics. He believed passionately, but he also enjoyed it a lot. An actor who's actually respected cuts a very good path. That his buddy Netanyahu should be putting it together in Israel as I write this only underscores the randomness of this living business.

Ron is survived by his parents. Go figure. It is not the way it should be. But how much is these days? No whines: Ron had a great life. He was a great actor, father, friend and advocate. He had a lot of fun doing it. He had more to teach us, more to say and more to do. A great man who lived a great life. It was just the terminal cancer part.

To find out more about Susan Estrich and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2009 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.



Comments

5 Comments | Post Comment
Susan, Why is it that liberals are all about choice, until it goes against their belief? I find it hypocritical that "Hollywood" thinks that they have all the answers and people should not have their own beliefs. Liberals are always talking about discrimination, why is this not discrimination.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Anne
Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:50 AM
Interesting that the first two and only posts so far have the same opinion. The blase attitude that Estrich takes to what amounts to blacklisting is disappointing in someone whose political instincts I admire. If those instincts told Susan that Silver's endorsement of Bush would lead to blacklisting, then her principles should have led her to be outraged. She doesn't sound outraged. Sad.
Comment: #2
Posted by: MightBeSane
Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:44 PM
The world is alway diminished when someone worthwhile passes on and it is always worse off when that someone has special talents. A parent whould never outlive a child. I feel bad for them. As to Mr. Silver's political beliefs, he was entitled to believe in whatever he wanted to believe. Perhaps he was just one of those who were so deep into work and life and other things that he did not have the time to properly research the character of George W. Bush. A lot of people were similarly challenged at the time. We have to forgive a lot of people for that second mistake in 2004. At least many of those made up for that in 2008. Mr. Silver should be remembered for ALL of his lifetime achievements and not vilified for one or two mistakes of judgment that barely impact on his life. Godspeed to heaven Mr. Silver and Thank you for your contributions to this life and this world.

Sincerely, Robert Lipka
Comment: #3
Posted by: robert lipka
Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:27 PM
I agree that it is a sad country we live in when we are persecuted for our political beliefs. Not exactly why this country was founded in the first place. And it is a sad truth that out of touch Hollywood has so much influence on political choices and takes advantage of it.

In response to Robert, I look forward to the day when people get the "stars" out of their eyes long enough to see that the current presiden doesn't have a clue how to run this country. The best thing for Obama is for people to be so absorbed in life and work as to not notice. I really don't think this will happen. As for his character, it didn't matter to most people during the election. Not the the "hollywood Media" or the liberal talking heads. Liberals have some nerve to even mention character. This man associated with, befriended and sought counsel from some vile creatures and was applauded for it.

God Bless Mr. Silva. (oops, sorry for the God word)
Comment: #4
Posted by: AllorNone
Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:35 PM
Gee, I guess my comments have been blacklisted. Not here anymore.
Comment: #5
Posted by: AllorNone
Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:47 PM
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