Actor Sean Penn says the final solution for “Tea Party influence on Congress” would be “committing them by executive order” to insane asylums. The two-time Oscar winner told CNN that he felt compassion for leaders like Ted Cruz because “he’s my American brother” but that “we should take care of him” and deal with his “mental health problem.”
The movie star may have been attempting a twisted form of humor, but his remarks invoked uncomfortable associations for those familiar with twentieth century history. The Soviet Union and other Communist states regularly punished dissidents by declaring them insane and torturing them in mental hospitals; thousands who dared question Stalinism suffered in this way.
Meanwhile, Sean Penn’s life-long-immersion in Hollywood – not a community celebrated for its mental health or stability – hardly qualifies him for judging the sanity of conscientious conservatives.