“You should never underestimate anybody who has the determination to make something of themselves.”
Noted Hollywood conservative James Woods likely surprised many of his followers when he praised New York Democrat House Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a brief interview Friday night with TMZ.
Only a day earlier, Woods, who has become known on Twitter for his scathing takedowns of liberals and support for conservatives, tweeted a picture of Ocasio-Cortez with an accompanying caption that could scarcely have predicted his comments to TMZ. “This is the most dangerous person in America right now,” the veteran actor wrote. “Ignore her at your peril … ”
This is the most dangerous person in America right now. Ignore her at your peril… pic.twitter.com/xl9AccTkgD
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) January 17, 2019
That statement stood in stark contrast to his flattering words about the freshman congresswoman, which he delivered the very next day. “I may disagree with her politics but she’s somebody who went from a bartender to a big leader of her party. And you have to respect that,” Woods told TMZ.
At one point in the interview, the “Videodrome” actor appeared to allude to President Donald Trump. “And what I think is, people on both sides underestimate people who achieve things,” he said.
“You better watch out because young people are looking for people that they can admire,” Woods warned. “If I were of a different political persuasion, I’d say, ‘well, that’s somebody I want to see them grow.’ She’ll grow. She’ll be a significant player.”
Ocasio-Cortez and Woods stand on opposing sides of an ideological battlefield characterized by bombast and inflamed rhetoric. Both are active and frequent participants in the type of Twitter conflicts that have caused many to lament the current state of public political discourse.
But Woods’ words are perhaps indicative of how modes of communication, and media platforms themselves, distort and inflame what may be at essence reconcilable, or at least relatable, differences.