1979: “The Duke” disliked politics despite involvement

In 1974, gripping a .50-caliber machine gun, Wayne rode an armored personnel carrier into Harvard Square in Cambridge, Mass., to take on the “Eastern Liberal Establishment.” It was all in good fun. He accepted the Harvard Lampoon’s challenge to premiere his new movie, “McQ,” in Harvard Square.

The Prescott Courier – Jun 12, 1979

John Wayne was a man who professed a dislike for politics, yet seemed ever embroiled in it.

His politics, in a way, were a reflection of his screen persona: tough, straight from the shoulder and unabashedly patriotic. His motto seemed to be “Go West and turn right.”

His image as an arch-conservative, an implacable anti-Communist, a staunch defender of the Vietnam War and a man who thumped for candidates became a part of his baggage.

Wayne frequently denied that he was an arch-conservative, and said he was actually liberal on some issues. when he supported the Panama Canal Treaty, some of his friends agreed.

He campaigned for Ronald Reagan for governor of California in 1968, but scoffed at the suggestion that he, too, might run for public office. He said, “I hate politics. I see it as a necessary evil.”


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