Clint Eastwood, Political Wanderer, to Speak Tonight at GOP Convention
With the revelation that the “surprise” speaker at the Republican National Convention tonight will be Clint Eastwood, expect a lot of conservative hagiography of the 82-year-old star as an ageless representative of all-American values such as justice and self-reliance.
How things change. Or perhaps more accurately: How things change and then change back again.
As for Eastwood’s real-world politics, I claim no particular expertise. But I think it’s safe here, too, to say his enthusiasms have been eclectic. He’s said that he’s never voted for a Democrat for president, but also that “I don’t consider myself a conservative.” He’s described himself as “moderate,” “a political nothing,” “a libertarian,” and “too individualistic to be either right-wing or left-wing.” He was a strong supporter both of California Governor Gray Davis and of his successor—Davis’s, not Eastwood’s, though I suppose you could make the case either way—Arnold Schwarzenegger.
On the issues, Eastwood has, at least publicly, tilted more left than right: though he’s occasionally described himself as fiscally conservative, he’s staunchly pro-choice, pro-gay-marriage, and (especially) pro-environment. Indeed, if anything, his political ambivalence seems—and this will come as no surprise to anyone who’s ever seen a Clint Eastwood movie—more attitudinal than policy-oriented.
Clint is either too busy, too old or too rich to care about what happens to the country if the GOP and their policies gain control of the White House.