'You Vote Out Trump and Then Fight': Actor John Cusack on the need to beat the President-and take on neoliberalism.

AuthorNichols, John

Donald Trump has no critic more outspoken and consistent than John Cusack, the iconic actor who has starred in films including Say Anything..., The Grifters, Being John Malkovich, High Fidelity and War, inc. and is featured in a new web television series, Utopia.

Cusack has always been political. He's been an outspoken defender of whistleblowers, serving as a board member of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, meeting with Edward Snowden, and co-authoring the book Things That Can and Cannot Be Said with author and activist Arundhati Roy.

As a foe of the Iraq War, Cusack decried the Bush-Cheney Administration as "depressing, corrupt, unlawful, and tragically absurd." A sharp critic of corporate Democrats and the neoliberal agenda as it is expressed in both major parties, Cusack campaigned this year for Bernie Sanders. Now, like many progressives, he is supporting Joe Biden to end Trump's presidency. Cusack reflected on the election in several recent conversations, from which this interview is drawn.

Q: You campaigned for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries, and you were quite critical of Joe Biden. Now, however, you find yourself arguing that a vote for Biden is urgent. Give me a sense of how you're thinking about the November election.

John Cusack: I think we vote for Biden and then, the very next day, we haunt him with every one of Bernie's policy positions. We go: health care, living wage, student debt, green energy. We keep that pressure on him from day one.

We have to recognize that, as Noam Chomsky says, we are voting against neofascism, and yet we are also voting for more neoliberalism. After the election, we have to push the neoliberals back into the New Deal framework that the times demand. There's going to have to be an FDR-like intervention.

There has to be a reckoning.

It's interesting that the Democrats want to bask in the glow of FDR, but they don't want to actually do any of his policies. I don't know why they're not just saying, "There will not be a permanent underclass that is in crippling debt with the Democrats in charge.

We are going to make the billionaires pay, and we're going to get economic justice coming in all across these various fields where we all know that needs to happen."

So what I'm really saying is that, if you don't feel like you can vote for Joe Biden, then you vote against Trump. You vote out Trump and then fight.

Q: You've talked about how frustrating it is that Democrats don't simply run as...

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