The Duke was a conservative Republican and was not shy of expressing his conservative views and ideals. Below are some of the views, ideals, and causes he supported:
1. He took part in creating the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals in 1943 and was elected president of that organization in 1947.
2. He was an ardent anti-communist, and vocal supporter of the House Un-American Activities Committee.
3. He was a supporter of then Vice President Richard Nixon's bid for the White House, he famously expressed his vision of patriotism when John F. Kennedy won the election: "I didn't vote for him but he's my president, and I hope he does a good job."
4. Wayne used his iconic status to support conservative causes, including rallying support for the Vietnam War by producing, co-directing, and starring in the critically panned The Green Berets (1968).
5. Due to his enormous popularity, and his status as the most famous Republican star in Hollywood, wealthy Texas Republican Party backers asked Wayne to run for national office in 1968, as had his friend and fellow actor, Senator George Murphy. He declined, joking that he did not believe the public would seriously consider an actor in the White House.
6. He supported his friend Ronald Reagan's runs for Governor of California in 1966 and 1970.
7. Wayne was asked to be the running mate for Democratic Alabama Governor George Wallace in 1968. Wayne vehemently rejected the offer.
8. He actively campaigned for Richard Nixon and addressed the Republican National Convention on its opening day in August 1968.
9. He was a member of the conservative and anti-communist John Birch Society.
Today, John Wayne is on my mind. I never had the pleasure of meeting him in my lifetime, but I was fortunate to visit his birthplace in Winterset, Iowa (photo left). It is a quaint little home and museum; a must see for any fan of The Duke. Thirty years after his death, he is still an icon of the American cinema. There is even a website dedicated to him. You can view it by clicking here.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN WAYNE...WE SURE MISS YOU!!!
"Sure I wave the American flag. Do you know a better flag to wave? Sure I love my country with all her faults. I'm not ashamed of that, never have been, never will be. I was proud when President Nixon ordered the mining of Haiphong Harbor, which we should have done long ago, because I think we're helping a brave little country defend herself against Communist invasion. That's what I tried to show in The Green Berets and I took plenty of abuse from the critics." - John Wayne quote from Playboy Magazine, Volume 18, issue #5 entitled "John Wayne: The Playboy Interview" by Richard Warren Lewis p. 77, May 1971.