Texas would hardly be Texas without tall men with thick southern drawls, and Texas women would hardly be human if they were overwhelmingly flustered by said men. So it’s no wonder that the politicians on the Texas state level were more than a little concerned when one of the most iconic actors ever to come from Texas expressed an interest in politics.
Politicians across the state were not alright alright alright when actor, University of Texas professor, and lifelong Texan Matthew McConaughey said he was considering a run for governor.
McConaughey began to nod toward the public sector after the COVID-19 pandemic started to offer assistance in the form of personal protective gear and assistance to hospitals and medical personnel. It wasn’t an earth-shattering move, but it was clearly over and above what anyone would have required or even expected of him, and it warmed a lot of hearts.
As the pandemic wore on, and more things began to be political, McConaughey had a very public personal awakening to the detrimental nature of the actions of many in politics today, and he was clearly moved to do something about it. However, after what was indicated to be extensive research, the Texan decided it wasn’t the time for him to run for the office of governor, and he said as much on Sunday when uploaded a video to his Instagram account that put those rumors to rest.
In his comments, standing in front of an American and Texas flag, the Texan spoke directly to his fans, saying that elected office was a “path that I’m choosing not to take at this moment” and that he wants to focus on other ways to serve the people of his home state. “As a simple kid born in the little town of Uvalde, Texas, it never occurred to me that I would one day be considered for political leadership. It’s a humbling and inspiring path to ponder. It is also a path that I’m choosing not to take at this moment,” McConaughey said.
The award-winning actor said that he had “been considering a run for the governor of Texas” he had been out “listening and been learning, been measuring and studying Texas politics and American politics,” in an attempt to understand the issues and how best he could serve.
The actor added that he would “continue to work and invest the bounty I have by supporting entrepreneurs, businesses and foundations that I believe are leaders, establishments that I believe are creating pathways for people to succeed in life, organizations that have a mission to serve and build trust while also generating prosperity. That’s the American dream,” he added.
While there was consternation about the announcement amongst those who were looking for a political shakeup, there was likely rejoicing in Austin after the announcement as a recent Dallas Morning News poll showed that the actor would likely beat Republican incumbent Greg Abbott by eight points in a head-to-head matchup. The same poll showed that in a hypothetical vote that took place without campaigning, he would probably tie with Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke.
Those are similar results to what was found in a July survey by the University of Texas, Tyler, which suggested 44 percent of Texans would vote for McConaughey versus just 35 percent for Abbott.
Would McConaughey have been Texas’ Ronald Reagan? Who can say? Experts said they believed the answer had a good chance of winning, saying that for a true outsider candidate, it’s actually advantageous. It’s a blank canvas to paint a candidacy, and it’s harder to be defined out of the gate — unlike Beto, who has a record of his positions.” But the one thing that they might possibly not account for is the harsh bias against those who have been branded by the west coast taking over in a real-world situation.
Would he have swung for the fences and won his bid? Now we may never know. Or maybe we’ll know someday when the political landscape is somewhat less volatile. But for now, we’ll just have to be alright, alright, alright watching McConaughey on our television instead of in an executive office and wait to see what the next election cycle brings.