"I've always been political," Hopper says, "but I haven't always been a Republican. I was with Martin Luther King [and] at the Free Speech Movement in Berkeley. I was a hippie. I was probably as Left as you could get without being a Communist."
Asked what happened, Hopper says, "I read too much Thomas Jefferson and decided that every 25 years you needed to have a change if you're really going to have a republic, and the Democrats had been in power too long."
This was about the time that Ronald Reagan was campaigning for the 1980 presidential election.
"I never cared for Reagan, very honestly," Hopper says. "I thought he was a bad actor. I never thought he was a great communicator, didn't think he was a great speaker.
"But the idea of changing the Congress, changing the Senate, getting the Democrats out, getting the Republicans in, also the idea of having less government -- which didn't seem to work out."
What began as a philosophy of political change turned into a change of political philosophy.
"The idea of less government," Hopper says, "more individual freedom, is something that I liked. I started believing it. So I started voting. I voted that time for Reagan, and I've voted on the straight Republican ticket ever since. I don't go to meetings, I don't go to things. I just go to the polls and do it."
I don’t see anything here in what Dennis said that would make me call him a Conservative. He does sound like an almost reluctant Republican though.