Matt Damon says the Bush twins should serve in the armed forces (update: video)

Matt Damon made a controversial statement during a recent interview with Hardball’s Chris Matthews, and suggested that the Bush twins should go fight in their dad’s war:

On the upcoming Hardball College Tour with Chris Matthews on MSNBC, Matt Damon and Robert De Niro speak at George Mason University, and reveal who they hope will be elected president in 2008, among other things.

Not backing away from his strong opinion on who should serve in the US military, Matt Damon said: “I don’t think that it’s fair as I said before, that it seems like we have a fighting class in our country.

“That’s comprised of people who have to go for either financial reasons or, I don’t think that that is fair. And if you’re gonna send people to war.. if we all get together and decide we need to go to war then that needs to be shared by everybody. You know and if the President has daughters who are of age then maybe they should go too…”

Damon was speaking at George Mason University, which is beyond conservative. A woman I used to work with went to school there for a year and told me that there’s a strict dress code and you’re not even allowed to swear.

One article suggests that Matt Damon “never had a high political profile,” and that may be true but he hasn’t tried to hide his political views. A central scene in the Oscar-winning movie he co-wrote, Good Will Hunting, centers around his character impressing the girl by using references from Howard Zinn’s “People’s History of the United States” to one-up a Harvard graduate student. Zinn’s famous book is a story of the US told by the oppressed and marginalized. It is has been lauded as a seminal work of historical scholarship while others claim it is spectacular propaganda. Damon’s family is friends with historian Zinn, who also lives in Cambridge, MA.

Damon signed his name to an ad by “Artists United to Win Without War,” which appeared in major newspapers in late 2002 before the war started. They said at the time that the Bush administration shouldn’t trump up a case for war, and anticipated many of the problems the US is now facing in Iraq.

Header image is a still from The Good Shephard from All Movie Photo.

Update: Reader glowstar goes to George Mason University and says there’s no dress code at this point, that it’s not strict and is one of the most diverse schools in the nation. I should have done more research, and was reporting what I was told by a coworker, who went there back in the late 80s.

Here’s the video:

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10 Responses to “Matt Damon says the Bush twins should serve in the armed forces (update: video)”

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  1. Sarah says:

    Did anyone see Fahrenheit 911? What he says about a “fighting class” is true. What’s worse is that the government is aware of this and specifically targets poor neighborhoods for recruitment because of so many poor kids, the Army is their only way to get to college.

  2. Rene says:

    And which branch of the military did Matt Damon serve?

  3. glowstar says:

    I go to George Mason University and I’d just like to say it is not strick or super conservative in any way. There is no dress code (though for the taping of the show I believe they wanted people to dress in school colors) It is just a normal school which in fact is one of the most diverse schools in the nation.

  4. Jamie says:

    Bottom line…people have been enlisted in the army for years, they’ve been getting a paycheck for training, and now they are being paid for doing their job. All of our armed forces knew a possible war was in the deal when they signed on. Once they do their agreed time, they don’t have to reenlist.
    My brother-in-law has been to Iraq, did his agreed time, and reenlisted in the middle of the war. It’s not always about finances, many of our military members are there because they want to be.

  5. Toubrouk says:

    Being the grand-child of a man who volunteered for sservice in WWII, I find the attitude of Mr. Damon towards the U.S. army quite disgusting. Armed service is not WELLFARE!

  6. celebitchy says:

    Thanks Glowstar, I’m kind of clueless about George Mason and although I did google it nothing popped out at me and I kind of dropped the ball on the research. I just relied on what I heard from my coworker, who went there in the late 80s. I will update the post with your note.

  7. DJ says:

    George Mason U isn’t “strick” ? Apparently it’s not big on spelling either.

  8. countrybabe says:

    Rene, he’s too old for that now, and we’re in a war. The draft would effect kids up to 26 years old. Beside how can you send more kids to war, when yours just go around partying?

  9. Ginny says:

    Using it to get to college or not, it’s the ARMY. It goes to war, whether the war is right or not, and whether we wanted to or not. It gives financial compensation for school, but you’ve got to be a moron to join the army and then get upset when you actually have to do what you’re getting paid for.

    There are other ways than joining the army for money to get to college if you don’t have the money; financial aid, Pell Grants, student loans (which are much more reasonable than most other sorts of loans).

    One of my best friends is shipping out to Iraq right after Christmas, and he’s proud to go and serve his country. Even with the political mess the whole thing is, he really wants to do his duty and help the Iraqi people the best he can.

    I like Matt Damon, and I see what he’s trying to say, but there are plenty of non-working class people in the army, including my friend. He has an engineering degree and is from a middle-class family. Some of the Congressmen have nieces, nephews, and other relatives in Iraq or Afghanistan. Plus, he gets paid a ton of money to run around and pretend to be somebody else. If he feels so strongly about it, he should have joined the army when he was still young enough to.

  10. Willard Johnson says:

    This guy is going to get himself into another Team America flick soon! I hope.
    More educated people have signed onto the Armed Forces which last I checked were still all volunteer. If the great Matt Damon took the time to look over the information that is available, he would find that lower income and less educated folks make up the smallest number in the military respective branches…..The guy should shut up and ACT…..he’s occasionally good at it. Cheers