Angelina Jolie
Hollywood watchers are wondering whether Angelina Jolie will follow her father’s lead and come out in support of Sen. John McCain’s bid for the presidency. Don’t laugh: this actually matters.

A recent news event (described below) brings back the subject of this unintentionally hilarious and inarticulate blog post in which the former comedienne Roseanne Barr notes that actor Jon Voight supports John McCain’s bid for president and brings up the question of whether his daughter, Angelina Jolie, might astonishingly think likewise:

jon voight [sic, throughout] is a frightened little girl in a pink ballet tutu, who acts like Obama just wandered in from the rain forest with a bone thru his nose and a communist pamphlet in his loincloth. The neocons who own jon voight and make him dance on the chabad telethons are the worst most elitist people on earth. glen beck and jon voight are their bitches… both of them are used tampons who must be flushed down the toilet immediately! jon voight your evil spawn angelina jolie and her vacuous hubby brad pitt make about forty million dollars a year in violent psychopathic movies and give away three of it to starving children trying to look as if they give a crap about humanity as they spit out more dunces that will consume more than their fair share and wreck the earth even more. (just sayin’).

Also miss jolie says she likes mccain too and hasn’t decided who to endorse….huh?

Thus the game is afoot and the mystery engaged: Is it possible that Angelina Jolie, certainly the top female movie box-office draw of our time and a knockout looker whose personal and professional success must inspire great admiration, actually be a frightful right-wing McCain supporter?

Jolie has been known to engage in rather heated disputes with her father, so his support for McCain may actually be an indicator suggesting that she would go in the opposite direction. Yet Jolie has in the past expressed an openness to Sen. McCain’s candidacy and written an oped suggesting that the United States should continue its military presence in Iraq for humanitarian reasons.

Comically describing the suspense as "a little nerve-wracking," an E! Online story popped the question a while back (following up on a story in Variety) and provided some tantalizing evidence:

Angelina Jolie says she still hasn’t made up her mind yet on who she will vote for in the upcoming presidential election.

"I have not decided on a candidate," the actress tells Variety in a statement sent by political advisor Trevor Neilson. "I am waiting to see the commitments they will make on issues like international justice, refugees and how to address the needs of children in crisis around the world."

In addition to the rather startling revelation that the actress has a political adviser, the story does confirm that Jolie has yet to make up her mind about which of the candidates on whom to bestow her royal blessing. That is indeed a rather extraordinary admission to make in a Hollywood and media environment that is overwhelmingly leftward and strongly supports the Democratic party both financially and ideologically to the extent that the market will allow them to get away with the latter.

Meanwhile, yesterday Jolie’s common-law husband, the actor Brad Pitt, was revealed to have given $100,000 to forces hoping to defeat a California ballot iniatiative intended to prevent the government from forcing individuals and organizations to recognize same-sex marriages. That’s the largest sum the cause has received from a major celebrity so far, the Los Angeles Times reported. As another E! Online story noted,

Pitt—who along with Angelina Jolie drew a few raised eyebrows after saying that they have no intention of tying the knot until everyone in the United States has the same right—wants to make sure that California, at least, remains a place where anyone can say "I do" and have it stick.

"Because no one has the right to deny another their life, even though they disagree with it, because everyone has the right to live the life they so desire if it doesn’t harm another and because discrimination has no place in America, my vote will be for equality and against Proposition 8," the Burn After Reading star said in a statement.

This might seem to be typical Hollywood left cant, and it may well be just that, but one can also imagine that Pitt and Jolie take this position in an awkward effort to carve out a classical liberal/libertarian position on the matter. This is, after all, the same position that many contemporary libertarians take.

However, although undoubtedly well-intended, it is, as I’ve noted earlier, decidedly not a liberal and non-coercive position. Nonetheless, it’s clear that support for same-sex marriage in Hollywood hardly indicates some sort of Marxist leanings. 

Hence, it’s quite possible both of these fabulous movie stars are closet McCain fans, or that they’re not, or something in between, or one is and one isn’t, or they’re actually both looking seriously at Bob Barr. (Well, the latter does seem unlikely.)

It would be easy, of course, to dismiss this as a frivolous matter not worth thinking about, and many do exactly that, but that is quite wrong. The reality is that culture strongly influences how people think, what their worldview consists of, and thus how they will act. The latter includes voting, and with government as big and overweening as it is nowadays, votes affect our lives in ways that classical liberals such as I dearly wish they would not.

Hence, regardless of whether Pitt and Jolie consciously inject their politics into their work, both of these activities will surely be outcomes of the ideas they hold and the values they place on things. Inasmuch as these may be revealed by their voting choices, that’s worth knowing.