Acting icon Robert Redford posted a statement on the Sundance Film Festival’s website yesterday:
While the statement is critical of the current political/social zeitgeist and not any one individual or party, it’s difficult not to come away with a sense that what Redford is addressing indirectly is the man who best embodies and exploits the worst of the times:
"For weeks I’ve watched with sadness as our civil servants have failed us, turning toward bigotry, mean-spiritedness, and mockery as the now-normal tools of the trade.
How can we expect the next generation to step up and serve, to be interested in public life, and to aspire to get involved when all we show them is how to spar, attack, and destroy each other?"
Despite the gloomy estimation of things as they stand, Redford ends on a hopeful note that people of different views can come together, and not be exploited by politicians who profit from division among the masses:
“But I want to encourage you to dig deep for hope and civility right now—to try to make connections with people you disagree with, to be better than our politicians.”
Redford will be summarily dismissed by some here as a Hollywood liberal, but in light of the divisiveness and rancor coming from all sides his message is impossible to ignore. The question for myself and others - does our current leadership (in the Oval Office and elsewhere) reflect and promote that hope and civility, or revel in quite the opposite?