Ron Silver, RIP

Rick Moran
Ron Silver, a role model for other Americans in waking up to the fantasy nature of leftist thinking about politics following 9/11, is dead of cancer at the age of 62.Ron Silver The NY Post wrote this obituary:

The steely-eyed, blunt-talking Silver, 62, enjoyed a long career on the stage, TV and in movies, and most recently hosted a public affairs talk show on Sirius satellite radio.

Silver might be best known for playing legal scholar Alan Dershowitz in "Reversal of Fortune," about the successful appeal of Claus von Bulow's conviction for putting his socialite wife into a permanent coma.

Once a self-identified lifelong Democrat, Silver was a founding member of the liberal-leaning Creative Coalition in 1989. But he made a breathtaking political transformation, going from far left to radical right after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

He spoke at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York, enthusiastically backing a second term for President Bush.

"Twelve years ago I was here for the Democratic convention. I was on the platform committee. Zell Miller was the keynote speaker. A lot's changed since then, I can tell you," a chuckling Silver told The Washington Post.

"If you asked me on September 10, 2001, would I consider going to the Republican National Convention and speaking, I would have thought you were from another planet and didn't know who I was."

First, the idea that Silver was "radical right" is incorrect. He was a strong proponent of the War on Terror, thought George Bush had it just about right when it came to our national security, and supported the war in Iraq, although toward the end he became a critic of Bush's handling of the conflict. Nevertheless, he always supported the idea of "victory" in Iraq.

But Silver was a social liberal for the most part - a fact that didn't matter to his former friends in Hollywood who shunned him after 9/11 and his hawkish transformation.

Silver wasn't the only liberal hit over the head by 9/11 who broke with his fellows over the conflict with radical Islam. Roger Simon, my boss over at PJ Media had a very similar journey, a story he has told so compellingly in his book "Blacklisting Myself." Friends with Silver in the 1980's as a result of their work together on "Reversal of Fortune" where Silver played the role of Alan Dershowitz, the two men forged their friendship anew following 9/11. Simon remembers Silver today in an affecting piece at PJ Media:

Then 9/11 came and Ron and I were thrown together once again. We were 9/11 Democrats. We talked on the phone about our journey and the alienation we were feeling from some our friends, but we didn’t come face-to-face until the Republican Convention of 2004. I was a blogger there and feeling rather weird – an old leftie gone right – but there was Ron, far more out than I was, speaking to the entire convention. And he was brilliant. The man could speak in public as well as almost any politician and he had more intellectual background than almost all of them too. He swept the convention audience off their feet.

Ron and I renewed our friendship in the corridors of Madison Square Garden that year and that friendship became faster than it ever was. I think I knew better than most what he was going through in the political sphere, had some sense of his feelings when confronting his peers in the entertainment industry. He gave me tremendous strength. I hope I give him back even a hundredth of what he gave me.

His professional career was distinguished by outstanding roles in such movies as the aforementioned "Reversal of Fortune" as well as the Academy Award nominated "Enemies: A Love Story."

He may be most easily recognized as a result of his work on "West Wing" where he played political consultant Bruno Gianelli. Silver was also a frequent defense attorney on "Law and Order," appeared in several episodes of the critically acclaimed "Chicago Hope," and played opposite Jerry Lewis in an episode thread dealing with the garment industry in the gritty series "Wiseguy." Silver's own father worked in the industry which gave his performances a patina of realism.

Silver was no mindless partisan but came to his political positions after careful thought. He was shocked at the reaction of the left to 9/11 and his criticisms formed the basis for his eventual switch to becoming a conservative activist. He debated liberals several times over the years in public forums - always gracious, always civil with his adversaries but relentless in his knocking down their arguments.

A talented artist, activist, and conservative voice has been stilled. He will be missed by those of us who admired his intellect as well as his courage.

Thomas Lifson adds:

A highly intelligent man, Silver caught my eye in 1975 in one of his first roles, as a somewhat pathetic boyfriend candidate for the title character on the TV series Rhoda, a spinoff from the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Ever since, I followed his acting career. When he remarked at Bill Clinton's first inauguration that the jet fighters flying overhead in salute were "our jets now", I cringed for him. When he woke up from the left wing fantasy that most of the problems in the world are due to American actions, I felt considerable relief.

Now he has left us, and he will be missed by many.

Further thoughts on Ron Silver from Michelle Malkin and Ace of Spades.

Ron Silver, a role model for other Americans in waking up to the fantasy nature of leftist thinking about politics following 9/11, is dead of cancer at the age of 62.Ron Silver The NY Post wrote this obituary:

The steely-eyed, blunt-talking Silver, 62, enjoyed a long career on the stage, TV and in movies, and most recently hosted a public affairs talk show on Sirius satellite radio.

Silver might be best known for playing legal scholar Alan Dershowitz in "Reversal of Fortune," about the successful appeal of Claus von Bulow's conviction for putting his socialite wife into a permanent coma.

Once a self-identified lifelong Democrat, Silver was a founding member of the liberal-leaning Creative Coalition in 1989. But he made a breathtaking political transformation, going from far left to radical right after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

He spoke at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York, enthusiastically backing a second term for President Bush.

"Twelve years ago I was here for the Democratic convention. I was on the platform committee. Zell Miller was the keynote speaker. A lot's changed since then, I can tell you," a chuckling Silver told The Washington Post.

"If you asked me on September 10, 2001, would I consider going to the Republican National Convention and speaking, I would have thought you were from another planet and didn't know who I was."

First, the idea that Silver was "radical right" is incorrect. He was a strong proponent of the War on Terror, thought George Bush had it just about right when it came to our national security, and supported the war in Iraq, although toward the end he became a critic of Bush's handling of the conflict. Nevertheless, he always supported the idea of "victory" in Iraq.

But Silver was a social liberal for the most part - a fact that didn't matter to his former friends in Hollywood who shunned him after 9/11 and his hawkish transformation.

Silver wasn't the only liberal hit over the head by 9/11 who broke with his fellows over the conflict with radical Islam. Roger Simon, my boss over at PJ Media had a very similar journey, a story he has told so compellingly in his book "Blacklisting Myself." Friends with Silver in the 1980's as a result of their work together on "Reversal of Fortune" where Silver played the role of Alan Dershowitz, the two men forged their friendship anew following 9/11. Simon remembers Silver today in an affecting piece at PJ Media:

Then 9/11 came and Ron and I were thrown together once again. We were 9/11 Democrats. We talked on the phone about our journey and the alienation we were feeling from some our friends, but we didn’t come face-to-face until the Republican Convention of 2004. I was a blogger there and feeling rather weird – an old leftie gone right – but there was Ron, far more out than I was, speaking to the entire convention. And he was brilliant. The man could speak in public as well as almost any politician and he had more intellectual background than almost all of them too. He swept the convention audience off their feet.

Ron and I renewed our friendship in the corridors of Madison Square Garden that year and that friendship became faster than it ever was. I think I knew better than most what he was going through in the political sphere, had some sense of his feelings when confronting his peers in the entertainment industry. He gave me tremendous strength. I hope I give him back even a hundredth of what he gave me.

His professional career was distinguished by outstanding roles in such movies as the aforementioned "Reversal of Fortune" as well as the Academy Award nominated "Enemies: A Love Story."

He may be most easily recognized as a result of his work on "West Wing" where he played political consultant Bruno Gianelli. Silver was also a frequent defense attorney on "Law and Order," appeared in several episodes of the critically acclaimed "Chicago Hope," and played opposite Jerry Lewis in an episode thread dealing with the garment industry in the gritty series "Wiseguy." Silver's own father worked in the industry which gave his performances a patina of realism.

Silver was no mindless partisan but came to his political positions after careful thought. He was shocked at the reaction of the left to 9/11 and his criticisms formed the basis for his eventual switch to becoming a conservative activist. He debated liberals several times over the years in public forums - always gracious, always civil with his adversaries but relentless in his knocking down their arguments.

A talented artist, activist, and conservative voice has been stilled. He will be missed by those of us who admired his intellect as well as his courage.

Thomas Lifson adds:

A highly intelligent man, Silver caught my eye in 1975 in one of his first roles, as a somewhat pathetic boyfriend candidate for the title character on the TV series Rhoda, a spinoff from the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Ever since, I followed his acting career. When he remarked at Bill Clinton's first inauguration that the jet fighters flying overhead in salute were "our jets now", I cringed for him. When he woke up from the left wing fantasy that most of the problems in the world are due to American actions, I felt considerable relief.

Now he has left us, and he will be missed by many.

Further thoughts on Ron Silver from Michelle Malkin and Ace of Spades.