*Actor Clint Eastwood took the Invisible Man reference to another level last week at the Republican National Convention.
Although his presence confirmed his support for the RNC his speech did more to confuse rather than to convince me of that party’s political stance. And I thought his portrayal of a cantankerous old timer in the movie “Grand Torino,” was just a stretch of his acting skills. Now, not so much.
Just because Eastwood is an accomplished actor – and managed to get elected mayor of a small town in 1986 – doesn’t make him an effective Hollywood political pitchman. But since that’s the road they chose to take, Republicans probably should’ve reviewed his speech beforehand. It would have kept them from having to explain the inconsistencies.
Inconsistencies such as the one about how Eastwood doesn’t think it’s a good idea for attorneys to serve as commander-in-chief, making reference to President Barack Obama and his Harvard pedigree. But at least seven other former U.S. presidents have held law degrees. And Mitt Romney, the guy Eastwood was there to endorse, earned a law degree and passed the bar exam. In case you didn’t know it (me talking to an invisible Eastwood sitting in a chair before me) law school has a way of raising one’s critical thinking, negotiation and presentation skills. Maybe you should have gone to law school, Clint! Or maybe you think politicians should just be good at reciting lines instead of being independent thinkers.
And there was the quip about Joe Biden being the intellectual of the Democratic Party, which I’m not sure if it was meant to be a joke at Biden’s expense. Yes Biden attended law school too, but nobody successfully can argue that Obama – former editor of the Harvard Law Review – is not an intellectual or the First Lady for that matter. I’m not sure where Eastwood was going with that.
And if he’s going to poke fun at Oprah Winfrey for crying after Obama won the presidency in 2008, he might as well make fun of all of Black America. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says there’s a time for everything. Clearly that night was a time to cry. At 82, Clint is old enough to understand the significance of it, but apparently he chose to make light of it. That’s normally the position of someone whose time has come and gone.
So go on, Mr. Eastwood, continue to underestimate the invisible man and undervalue his accomplishments. Just like in 2008, it probably will work to his advantage.
Steffanie is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas, Texas metroplex. Send comments, questions and speaking requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.