John Wayne typically didn’t get along with his liberal movie co-stars due to their political differences. The world surprised him when they deemed him a far-right conservative because he never saw himself in that light. Wayne once explained why he actually considered himself to be a liberal until the world told him that he wasn’t.
John Wayne believed he was the only man in movies to give Native Americans ‘their human dignity’
Tony Macklin recorded an interview with Wayne, where he talked about the liberal side of politics. The actor explained how he always gave respect and human dignity to everyone he worked with. However, Wayne specifically mentioned Native Americans in his discussion, which grew was quite controversial.
“That’s a funny thing, the Indians now,” Wayne said. “This group started something against me for some reason, but I am the only man in pictures that always give them their human dignity. I never was in a picture, I never allowed myself at any time to do anything that would take their human dignity away from them. That, to me, is the most important thing in amends.”
John Wayne explained why he always thought of himself as a ‘liberal’
Wayne told Macklin that he always thought of himself as a liberal. However, he didn’t see eye-to-eye with specific groups that identify with the term. As a result, he felt that they tried to destroy his movie career and his popularity with audiences around the country.
“I have found that a certain type that calls himself a liberal, I always thought I was a liberal,” Wayne said with a laugh. “I came up terribly surprised one time when I found out I was a right-wing conservative extremist, but I have listened to everybody’s point of view that I ever met and then decide how I should feel.”
Wayne continued: “But this so-called new liberal group, they never listen to your point of view and they make a decision as to what you think. They’re articulate enough and in control enough of the press to force that. Any job for the average person, for some reason, maybe it’s these pictures, they have not been able to do that with me in, in spite of what they say. It hasn’t affected my career in popularity, let’s say. In spite of the fact they try to make it die.”
Some conservative Wayne fans explained that they feel his words still reflect liberal ideals today. However, others said that he’s incorrect about his assessment.
The actor thought laws were trying to change human nature
Wayne believed that laws tried to change human nature, although he didn’t specify this for only liberal folks. He explained that no law will change the way that humans ultimately behave in society. Additionally, he disagreed with other political ideologies.
“There isn’t a hell of a lot we can do to change human behavior,” Wayne said. “We keep making laws to try and change human behavior. I think you can accept it and feel how you would. You’re being conned into Keynesianism and socialism now, but it isn’t gonna stop the selfishness of human behavior. It isn’t going to stop the greed.”
The actor further talked about human nature, charities, and how professionalism fits into the puzzle.
“I think when you make people conscious as communication gets better and you make people conscious of someone in trouble, starving or something like that, another person will help,” Wayne said. “But, of course, now there are so many charities and there’s so much professionalism, if you have a charity, you hire some professionals to look up the charity and by the time you get the money, you get $5 for the recipient and $400 for the administrators.”