Jane Fonda tells people to vote: ‘I can’t remember a more important election’


Jane Fonda has been politically active for 60 years. I realize the knee-jerk response is to bring up her Vietnam statements but she’s apologized for that for years and she also addresses that in the interview we’re covering. Jane, along with Lily Tomlin and Rashida Jones, are currently promoting Swing Left’s Last Weekend initiative. Last Weekend asks people everywhere to volunteer the weekend prior to the November midterms. The three appeared in a funny spot directed by Rashida (posted below) and People interviewed Jane on her thoughts about our current political climate. Jane, echoing most of us, said she’s scared.

What drew you to this initiative?
What drew me to it is that I can’t remember in my 80 years a more important election. I mean 2020 is going to be important but what happens in November, in terms of who’s going to be elected, is going to determine not just the foreseeable future — but for generations — what this country is going to look like. We must elect people at all levels. We really need to protect our democracy and registering to vote if one hasn’t already, and actually voting this November, is critical.

You know historically midterm elections don’t motivate voters as much as the presidential elections do. But this time there’s too much at stake so Lily and I as celebrities are trying to find ways to use our voices to make a difference this November.

What keeps you so driven as an activist despite the criticism you received during the Vietnam era and the president’s disdain for Hollywood?
Well the distain for Hollywood arises because it’s an effective effort: when celebrities speak out, our voices are heard. I’m not happy to say that. Women of color have been speaking out about sexual harassment for years and people didn’t believe them, of course the most notable was Anita Hill, so the fact is that when celebrities speak out for those whose voices are less heard it is effective, and that’s why Trump is attacking us.

As for the controversies that have followed me, they just starch in my spine — and the reason I keep at it is because, why not? I don’t know — I just don’t see any other way to live. We’re in an existential crisis, you know our democracy has been challenged very, very gravely, and I’m scared. I have grandchildren, and when I die I want them to be able to say to themselves that Grandma did everything she could to save democracy and make the world a safer, better, place for us. Whether I’ll succeed — I’m not alone — that’s what’s important.

What keeps you hopeful about the future?
Nothing has ever been quite like it is now, in terms of fundamental threats to our democracy but I have seen miraculous things happen when all looks bleak. But I have seen things change for the good because of the efforts of individuals working together in coalition and that gives me hope. It’s certainly better than the alternative.

[From People]

I’m not always Jane’s biggest fan but I am impressed with everything she said in this interview. I feel like she has been broadening her views in every interview and it sounds like that comes from listening to others. I admire that she is unwilling to sit on the sidelines because people will yell at her about her past controversies. She points out in the interview that she also doesn’t work alone, she works with organizations that have proven themselves, kind of ‘don’t take my word for it – look at what these guys have done.’ It’s smart advocacy and that’s what we need right now. I also appreciate how inclusive her language is.

These midterms are critical, that cannot be overstated. And they routinely have very low voter turnout.T echnically, I am neither blue or red but I will be working my butt off to cut out the cancer infecting Washington currently. I spoke to several people on Monday about what I can do because I feel helpless. I donate, I stay active on social media, I read, I call my reps, I shout into the wind, I protest but it doesn’t feel like it’s doing anything to stop what’s happening. But this Last Weekend initiative sounds like something that will truly make a difference. I’m sure everyone here is committed to voting but how committed are you to getting the vote out there? Can you canvas? Can you drive voters to polls election day? What can any of us do to get just one more person to the polls? Let’s all heed Jane’s advice and never get complacent again. Because as she said, this sh-t is scary.

Here is the spot directed by Rashida. It’s funny but still packs a punch:




Photo credit: WENN Photos and YouTube

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7 Responses to “Jane Fonda tells people to vote: ‘I can’t remember a more important election’”

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  1. Maria says:

    Yes, people in the USA please vote in November. This lunatic has to be stopped.
    If he is left with a democratic congress he will not be able to do much.
    Can’t believe Jane is 80. She looks fabulous.
    I know she’s probably had work done, but her figure, posture, hair all look great.

    • sadie77az says:

      Not feeling super political today, but here for the looks part of your comments. Whoever her plastic surgeon(s) are should be in her will. I’ve never seen work that good on a woman her age.

  2. Mego says:

    JF: “ I can’t remeber a more important election”

    Me: “you can’t remember 2016?”

    Otherwise well said.

  3. Kate says:

    The last big election was pretty darn important. Where were you then???

  4. Louise says:

    And to check enrolment status, too. It’s ridiculous that enrolment can close months before the election, and so, so wrong that voters are routinely purged incorrectly in some states.

    And yes, midterms matter, especially this year. It affects the Senate approval of any further Supreme Court nominations, and it affects the makeup of the statehouses that will be redrawing the electoral boundaries for the House of Representatives. These midterms matter, and not just because of Trump.