Clint Eastwood Might Vote For Different Empty Chair Than Trump This Time
Hollywood tough guy Clint Eastwood once frightened an empty chair into submission at the 2012 Republican National Convention. After that sad scene, there was nowhere for the party to go but Trump.
Eastwood now has misgivings about the president. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Eastwood said that while he approves of "certain things" Donald Trump has done, he'd prefer that the president behave "in a more genteel way, without tweeting and calling people names." Yes, Dirty Harry said "genteel" like he's a common Cary Grant.
This is a big change from barely four years ago when Eastwood expressed his support for Trump over serial email murderer Hillary Clinton. It disturbed Eastwood that Clinton declared she was going to "follow in Obama's footsteps." Unfortunately, Eastwood wasn't in the market for "genteel" back then, because Obama certainly has genteel footsteps.
No, back in 2016, Eastwood wanted a president who'd speak their mind -- even if that mind was both racist and stupid. This is what he said to Esquire:
EASTWOOD: [Trump] is onto something, because secretly everybody's getting tired of political correctness, kissing up. That's the kiss-ass generation we're in right now. We're really in a pussy generation.
Yeah, that's really sexist.
EASTWOOD: Everybody's walking on eggshells. We see people accusing people of being racist and all kinds of stuff. When I grew up, those things weren't called racist.
Eastwood was born in 1930, so when he was growing up, a lot of racist things weren't called racist. That's because no one really polled black people in the back of the bus or the "colored only" section of movie theaters. Looks like Eastwood is now willing to join the "pussy generation," and this pussy says, "Welcome!"
Which non-Trump option is Eastwood considering for 2020? There's Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders ... maybe even Pete Buttigieg, because old (white) people love that guy. Here's what he told the Wall Street Journal:
EASTWOOD: The best thing we could do is just get Mike Bloomberg in there.
So, Mike Bloomberg is Eastwood's "genteel" selection. He's already not living up to the "not calling people names on Twitter" standard. Sure, Bloomberg mostly just trolls Trump, but he does so in kind of juvenile ways.
Trump had a rally in Phoenix this week. We made sure there was a nice gift waiting for him! 😍 https://t.co/a8juK5ATIM— Team Bloomberg (@Team Bloomberg)1582310337.0
There are a lot of people other than Trump who eat their steak at a socially unacceptable temperature. There are also a lot of people who can't afford steak because they are buried under student loans or medical debt. Rich guys exchanging insults about steak preparation doesn't address the legitimate concerns of most voters.
Also, as Elizabeth Warren observed at last week's Democratic debate, Bloomberg has a history of non-"genteel" behavior in the workplace.
WARREN: I'd like to talk about who we're running against. A billionaire who calls women "fat broads" and "horse-faced lesbians." And no, I'm not talking about Donald Trump. I'm talking about Mayor Bloomberg.
It's hard to see Warren these days due to her invisibility condition, so maybe Eastwood is unaware that Bloomberg has been just as crude as Trump.
Maybe Eastwood will have to write in "Empty Chair" for president this year.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."