so long, clint eastwood

August 6, 2016

eastwood-chairThere’s not much more I can add to Clint Eastwood’s comments about Mr. Trump that others haven’t piled onto Mr. Eastwood already. Except, perhaps, to say goodbye.

Goodbye to all those movies I watched through the 70s and into the early 80s. I watched all those spaghetti Westerns about the “Man with No Name.” I watched those later movies about Dirty Harry. And a few others in between, such as my all-time favorite Clint Eastwood movie, “Kelly’s Heroes.”

The last Eastwood movie I paid any attention to was 1982’s “Firefox.” That year is significant to me because I started to date the woman who would later become my wife. Real life with Judy became (and still is) a lot more interesting than Hollywood make-believe.

I pretty much lost all interest in Mr. Eastwood until the notorious 2012 RNC “chair incident” (seen to the left) where his attempt to be politically clever fell totally flat. After that he drifted back out of my concerns until just a few days ago, where he lauded what Trump had been saying up to that point, calling the current generation “kiss-ass” and “pussy.” That has since gone viral, and there’s been considerable blow-back onto Mr. Eastwood.

Mr. Eastwood’s main contention, that Mr. Trump’s comments weren’t considered racist when Mr. Eastwood was younger, is a sad commentary on Mr. Eastwood and that period of American history. Mr. Eastwood was born in 1934, and was 30 when the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964, followed by the Voting Rights Act in 1965. The years leading up to these two landmark laws was marked by rampant racism against blacks, including lynching and whole-sale murder. The KKK was in ascendency in the South. It should be pointed out that the Democrats were in control of the racist South and stoked that racism.

Because it was Kennedy, and then Johnson, who passed those two laws, the Republicans came in with their “southern strategy” to wrest political control from the Democrats and switched the Democratic south to a Republican south. The Republicans have used racism to gain, and maintain, control since the 1950s throughout the south. Mr. Eastwood is right in that Mr. Trump’s racist excesses weren’t called out as such in his first 30 years of life. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t racist, only that nobody cared to call out blatant racism. Now we’ve come to a point with the Republican party of 2016 where Mr. Trump is comfortable being openly racist, just like the first 30 years of Mr. Eastwood’s life. After all those decades we now know, and finally have the backbone, to call out racism. Mr. Trump makes it so easy.

So long, Mr. Eastwood. You were so entertaining back in the day, but those days are long gone. Your current antics simply make you look very sad and diminished. They will in the long run detract from your legacy. You’re wrong, as is Mr. Trump. History and the 2016 presidential election are going to show you and Mr. Trump just how wrong you’ve all been.

I’m going out to vote this year, and I’m going to help get out the vote. I haven’t helped with voter registration since 2000 with Al Gore and 2004 with John Kerry. I grew disillusioned and withdrawn after those two election seasons. This year is different. This year it’s vital to re-engage against the enemies of democracy in the Republican party. Mr. Trump’s campaign and your comments only go to reinforce how vital it is to get out and vote against one of the worst presidential candidates ever fielded by any party in the last 100 years. We need someone intelligent as President, someone who isn’t brutally racist, and it’s certainly not Donald Trump.

You can go back to California. Let the rest of us who are intelligent enough to know right from wrong take care of this country, and you in your blissful retirement. Go home, please.