Jack Black says he has a dire feeling about the future if midterm voters don’t turn out in droves on Election Day.
“It feels like it’s going be the end of the world if we don’t all get on board and vote,” Black said Thursday in an exclusive interview with The Hill.
The “School of Rock” star is teaming up with VoteRiders, a nonpartisan voting rights organization, to urge Americans to head to the polls.
“I was just feeling a little anxious about the upcoming election. It’s so consequential, and I’ve been listening to my favorite podcasts and getting a little freaked out. I didn’t feel like I was really participating enough and I wanted to find a way to help get out the vote,” the 53-year-old actor and musician said.
Black, a vocal critic of former President Trump, said he’s longing for an election not to feel quite as critical as Tuesday’s appears to him.
“It seems like it’s escalating every election cycle, that it becomes more and more important to vote, and more consequential, and it’s so exhausting,” Black told The Hill Editor-in-Chief Bob Cusack.
“But so much is on the ballot this cycle. We’ve got – a woman’s right to choose is on the ballot. The environment is on the ballot, environmental protections. And not to mention democracy is on the ballot. There’s so, there’s so many divides in this country right now,” he said.
While recent data has spelled bad news for Democrats — with polls showing that at least the House is likely to flip to GOP control — Black urged the party not to throw in the towel.
“If I felt defeatist and like, ‘The red wave is coming, there’s nothing we can do,’ then I wouldn’t even be involved,” he said.
“But there’s always a feeling like, no, we can do this if we all work together.”
While he supported Joe Biden in the 2020 White House race, Black wouldn’t say for sure whether he’d root him on in a 2024 run.
“I want him to do what’s right for this election cycle. And right now it’s all about the midterms,” Black said of Biden.
“I like a lot of the things that he’s done. I’m willing to forgive him of falling off a bike, or fumbling with the words or forgetting a name,” he added of the 79-year-old commander in chief.
“I’m right there with Biden. It’s a forgetful time. But his heart’s in the right place and he’s got great people around him. So why not?”
Black said he views a potential reelection bid by Trump as a threat that’s “always lurking in the background.”
“He’s got to run because he’s also running away from himself and his mountain of lawsuits,” Black said.
“If he can win again, in his mind, he’s probably thinking, ‘Oh, then that’ll erase the time that I lost. I’ll be a winner again!’” Black exclaimed.
The Tenacious D performer predicted that a 2024 Trump campaign would focus on immigration, “race politics” and “dog whistles.”
“So it’ll be scary. But at the end of the day, what’s more disturbing are all the people that support him. And in a way I don’t even really think he believes all of that hate talk that he’s doing,” Black said of Trump.
“I think he’s working the crowd and he knows how all this is going. He’s actually kind of brilliant at figuring out what people want to hear and just saying [it,] and it’s scary that people want a leader like that.”
“I don’t see him as causing all of that hate. I see him as just using all of the hate that’s already there,” Black said.
Asked if as an entertainer it gave him any pause to get involved with politics, Black cracked, “Celebrities can be annoying. And the last thing we need is one more dumb celebrity getting their voice heard.”
“I feel like that’s the beauty of this country, is that everyone’s got a right to speak out on issues that are important to them, whether they’re dumb celebrities or smart celebrities. And all of those pundits on TV that are supposedly the political experts, they’re just celebrities too.”
“But let my voice be heard like any red-blooded American,” Black said.