John Wayne: The Life and Legend by Scott Eyman is a new biography that is sure to be the standard that all other John Wayne bios will be measured against. Wayne was the most popular movie star in America during the 1940's, 1950's, and much of the 1960's. He was a staunch opinionated conservative working in an industry teeming with liberals, socialists, and even communists.
Here are some of the Duke's opinions shared by Mr. Eyman in his fine book:
College Professors -
"It takes 15 years of kissing someone’s backside for a professor to get a chair somewhere and then he’s a big shot in a little world, passing his point of view on to a lot of impressionable kids. He’s never really had to tough it out in this world of ours, so he has a completely theoretical view of how it should be run and what we should do for our fellow man."
Anti-Military Liberals -
"I would think somebody like Jane Fonda and her idiot husband would be terribly ashamed and saddened that they were a part of causing us to stop helping the South Vietnamese. Now look what’s happening. They’re getting killed by the millions. Murdered by the millions. How the hell can she and her husband sleep at night?"
Role of Government -
"I don’t want any handouts from a benevolent government. I think government is naturally the enemy of the individual, but its a necessary evil, like, say motion picture agents are. I do not want the government . . . to insure me anything more than normal security."
Identity Politics -
"The hyphenated American is ridiculous. But that’s what we have to put up with. I think that any person that’s in the United States is better off here than they would be where they came from."
Women's Equality -
"I have always felt that women should get exactly the same salary for the same work that a man would. And I assume and presume that is gradually coming to pass. Mainly because women have been individual enough to step out and become lawyers and do these different things. But it is ridiculous for the studio to have a woman be a grip on a set. There are certain standards of hard work that are expected of a grip that a woman can’t cut. That doesn’t mean that she couldn’t direct the picture if she had the talent to do it. But I mean, there’s a lot of men that couldn’t go in and be a grip, because they’re not capable of the physical effort required to perform that job."
Black Leadership -
"With a lot of blacks, there’s quite a bit of resentment along with their dissent, and possibly rightfully so. But we can’t all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leadership of the blacks. I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to the point of responsibility. I don’t believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people."
"You know, I’m an older man, and I’ve been thrown in a lot of experiences, and I have a feeling that it’s abnormal and it’s certainly not the natural way we were put on earth. So I see no reason to jump with joy because somebody is gay, and I don’t see any reason for waving a flag for all the wonderful things gays have done for the world . . . any more than you’d say, ‘Oh, boy, horray for the tuberculosis victim!’ It’s abnormal to me. Now, as far as having them live their life, I feel that a man has a right to live his life, I feel that a man has a right to live his life the way he wishes -- as long as he doesn’t interfere with me having my rights. So I have nothing against them, but I certainly see no reason to jump with joy about it."
Government Spending -
"Government has no wealth, and when a politician promises to give you something for nothing, he must first confiscate that wealth from you -- either by direct taxes, or by the cruelly indirect tax of inflation."
Television -"The worst part of it has been, I think, the adverse effect on family life. It kills off family conversation. And it’s harder to get your children to read books. I became a confirmed reader when I was growing up in Glendale. I’ve loved reading all my life. Now I’ve got this daughter, Aissa, a very bright young lady -- but it is a hard job to get her to read. Television’s just too easy."
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