Clint Eastwood received multiple standing ovations and applause during his 2012 Republican National Convention speech. According to Tweets and other social network comments, many people loved his speech.
However, in what seems to be unrestrained bigotry toward senior citizens, or bigotry toward anyone associated with Republicans, some in the mainstream media have criticized the speech as bazaar incoherent ramblings of someone who is senile.
Rachel Maddow said the speech was, “The Weirdest Thing I Have Ever Seen At A Political Convention.” (source) An article posted on the Forbes Magazine website referred to the speech as “Crazy.” (source) According to the New York Times coverage it was, “the most bizarre, head-scratching 12 minutes in recent political convention history.” (source) Also, “In interviews, [Romney] aides called the speech ‘strange’ and ‘weird.’ One described it as ‘theater of the absurd.'” (source) Eastwood was equally criticized by Democrats and Republicans. The full video of his presentation is below.
“At the Republican National Convention, Clint Eastwood spoke out against war, praised Obama, admits crying when Obama won in 2008, declared we’re not doing enough to help the unemployed, and stated that Democrats (as Americans) are some of the best people in the world…. The media’s collective commentary is to conclude that he’s senile — responding only to the mock conversation with Obama he portrayed. This is very sad. Below is my review of Clint Eastwood’s RNC speech…” ~ Greg Johnson
At 82, Clint Eastwood eloquently, creatively, and subtly conveyed some important points that many seem to have overlooked.
Those on the right are regularly talking about the liberal media and claim that Hollywood is controlled by liberals. Eastwood started his speech with these words:
“I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, ‘What’s a movie tradesman doing out here?’ You know they’re all left wingers out there. Left of Lennon. At least that’s what people think, but that’s not really the case. There’s a lot of conservative people, a lot of moderate people — Republicans and Democrats, in Hollywood.”
He seemed to want to correct this misconception about Hollywood and make the point that labels and wide-sweeping generalizations are fairly meaningless.
Eastwood shared his emotional response to Obama winning the election in 2008.
“I remember three and a half years ago when Mr. Obama won the election, and though I wasn’t a big supporter, I was watching that night … and they were talking about hope and change, and they were talking about ‘Yes we can’ and it was dark outdoors and it was nice, and people were lighting candles … and I just thought, ‘This is great.’ Everybody’s crying. Oprah was crying, and I was even crying.”
Eastwood went on to talk about how we are overlooking the needs of the poor and unemployed:
“There are 23 million people unemployed in this country … and we haven’t done enough (for the poor).”
He went on to acknowledge that many people wanted Guantanamo shut down and were disappointed that Obama didn’t get that done. He praised Obama for overruling a policy/practice of questioning terrorists in New York City. He praised Obama for getting Osama Bin Laden.
Then he began the anti-war segment of his presentation. By using a theatrical technique common in comedy, he pretended to be speaking to Obama seated next to him.
“I know you were against the war in Iraq, and that’s okay, but you thought the war in Afghanistan was… something worth doing. We didn’t check with the Russians to see how they did there for 10 years.”
Regarding the war in Afghanistan, Eastwood asked, why Obama would give a target date for ending that war. “Why not do as Romney has suggested and bring the troops home tomorrow morning?”
As the Huffington Post pointed out, after Eastwood advocated the immediate withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, “The crowd cheered hard, creating the awkward spectacle of a Republican convention roaring for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from the battlefield.”
Then Eastwood began to criticize the condition of politics in this country, stating,
“You… We… (we the people) We own this country…” (standing ovation) “We own it. It’s not politicians owning it. Politicians are employees of ours.
That line could have been delivered to any political convention and received equal applause.
Speaking to his fellow Americans, Eastwood said
“It’s important that you realize that you’re the best in the world, whether you’re a Democrat, or you’re a Republican, or a Libertarian or whatever. You’re the best, and we should not ever forget that.”
According to a UK news report, Eastwood, “has attracted questions over his idiosyncratic political directions, which have included support for same-sex marriage and abortion rights.” (source)
Why would a Democrat or person on the political left say anything against the speech that Clint Eastwood delivered at the RNC? Eastwood was stating many of the Democratic platform principles and getting Republicans to applaud.
Sadly, rather than speaking the truth and honestly saying that Eastwood gave a respectable speech, critics would rather demean him with derogatory claims of senility.