Howard, who is out promoting 'Angels & Demons,' a sequel to 'The Da Vinci Code,' replied: “I'm a very optimistic person and I don't want to feel like there isn't growth, but there needs to be an adjustment anyway.” He proceeded to credit the insights he gained working on his movies with Europeans: “I've actually spent a lot more time in Europe and working with crew members and actors and understanding how they live and how they think.” Howard predicted “our lives are going to be better” because “we're going to be more progressive.”
Audio: MP3 audio clip whitch matches video (1:30)
The exchange on the Friday, April 10 Real Time with Bill Maher which was devoted entirely to Maher interviewing Howard and then far-left writer Gore Vidal:
BILL MAHER: Let me ask you about America, we've seen better days. We're sort of in place that has made a lot of people nervous. Some people would say this country has jumped the shark. What do you think the future is?
RON HOWARD: I'm a very optimistic person and I don't want to feel like there isn't growth, but there needs to be an adjustment anyway. You know, making Da Vinci Code and then Angels and Demons I've actually spent a lot more time in Europe and working with crew members and actors and understanding how they live and how they think and they grow up. And you know, I feel that we are going to -- that there is going to be an adjustment -- and that we are going to shift and that you know we're not going to-
MAHER: For the better.
HOWARD: I think ultimately for the better, by my standards, because I think our lives are going to be better, I think we're going to be more progressive.
MAHER: Because we're less bloated and less greedy-
HOWARD: Yeah, and I don't think we'll be, at a certain point I don't think we'll be so consumed with being the pre-eminent super-power and, you know, driven by sort of militarism and this need to export, you know, democracy and so forth.