Matthew McConaughey would be the next governor of Texas if the election were held today
via Wikimedia Commons

A surprising new poll out of Texas found that actor Matt McConaughey has more support to be the next governor of Texas than the incumbent, Republican Greg Abbott. The actor increased speculation about his plans to run for governor in 2022 last week when he said it's a "true consideration."

The poll by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler found that in a hypothetical contest, McConaughey garners 45% support, with Abbott getting 33%, and 22% saying they would vote for someone else.

Democrats (66% to 8%) and Independents (44% to 28%) broke highly in favor of McConaughey. However, Abbot still holds a decent lead over the actor with Republicans (56% to 30%).


The actor's support in the state most likely comes from the goodwill he's created as an A-list Texas native because he hasn't said much when it comes to political policy.

The star of "Dallas Buyers Club'' held a star-studded benefit for victims of Texas floods in February. He's also officially joined the faculty of his alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin, as a professor in the Department of Radio-Television-Film.

The actor stresses the fact that when it comes to the political policy he's a moderate but that doesn't mean he's wishy-washy.

"I'm a 'Meet You in the Middle' man," McConaughey said according to USA Today. "When I say 'aggressively centric,' that sometimes gets parceled over there with 'Oh, that's a shade of gray, a compromise.' And I say, 'Bullshit. That's a dare. Right now, that's radical. You wanna be brave?"

McConaughey believes that taking a centrist approach gives people more leeway to make the best decisions.

"Because you got more agility, cause you got more adaptability," she said. "Because there's different situations for different sides. Sometimes the left is better at this, sometimes the right. There's different choices for different circumstances."

He also believes that the political stereotypes do more harm than good.

"The left thinks the right's racist and the right thinks the left's socialist. Well, that ain't true," McConaughey said. "Then you go, well, the left is for empathy, compassion and solidarity; well the right's for resilience and work ethic and responsibility. I'm like, I like all six of those. Those are values that our mamas taught us. The right and the left don't have ownership of those, excluding the other side."

The only firm policy stance the actor has taken is on gun control. In 2018, he spoke at the March for Our Lives rally in Austin calling for a ban on assault weapons for civilians, restricting high-capacity magazines, and strengthening background checks.

"Those are the three main stipulations," McConaughey said at the rally, "and to those three, I can say — if you can say it with me — all right, all right, all right."

It's unclear whether the actor's lack of clear positions is a clever way to avoid alienating the millions of people who go to see his films or part of his personality. Anyone who's seen his series of car commercials for Lincoln can attest that he seems to hold a rather abstract view of the world.

It's also questionable whether the political center that he's trying to appeal to actually exists. People often talk about wanting bipartisanship and more moderate candidates, but those candidates tend not to fare very well in primaries.

The poll found that Democrats prefer a progressive candidate over a centrist (51% to 25%) and only 20% of Republicans are interested in voting for a centrist.

But if he runs as an independent, all bets could be off. After all, it was both the far left and far right who wrote off Joe Biden's centrist 2020 presidential campaign as "out of touch." And we all know that worked out "alright, alright, alright" for the commander-in-chief.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

via @Todd_Spence / Twitter

Seven years ago, Bill Murray shared a powerful story about the importance of art. The revelation came during a discussion at the National Gallery in London for the release of 2014's "The Monuments Men." The film is about a troop of soldiers on a mission to recover art stolen by the Nazis.

After his first time performing on stage in Chicago, Murray was so upset with himself that he contemplated taking his own life.

"I wasn't very good, and I remember my first experience, I was so bad I just walked out — out onto the street and just started walking," he said.

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