Hubert Burda Media

An Open Letter to Clint Eastwood

An Open Letter to Clint Eastwood

Sir, 

I read with disappointment your recent interview in Esquire where you called this generation a "pussy generation" and one that's prone to political correctness. To be entirely fair, I agree with your latter sentiment. 

Then you went on to suggest that Donald Trump is a person who speaks for the people, whose willingness to speak in politically incorrect tones is why people respond to him and that you were intending to vote for him this coming November. 

With that, you've lost every tidbit of respect I used to hold for you. 

I know that you're a lifelong Republican as are plenty of other actors and you've spoken at the RNC before. That has never bothered me. Your political affiliations and beliefs are your own. If you choose to support a party that denies the significance of global warming, emphasises tax cuts for the rich and thinks health insurance should be privatised for those who can afford it, so be it. 

But you appear to misunderstand the idea of political incorrectness. If you need a reference I invite you to watch re-runs of Bill Maher's former television show, called Politically Incorrect, then shown on ABC. 

Politically incorrect comments are typically exaggerations of reality, not fantastical inventions in the mind of a megalomaniac. There's frequently some sort of figures that back politically incorrect statements even if they are dramatised. 

Donald Trump is not an anti-establishment hero because he is making politically incorrect statements that no one else has the courage to do. He is a liar who makes up statements that rouse the audience and encourages them to react emotionally (and often violently). He's offered to cover the legal fees of people who fight protestors on his campaign. That's the definition of a demagogue: a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument

We also call these sort of persons rabble-rousers. 

Of course, you do fit into the general demographic, age-wise, of the Trump supporter, so perhaps we should take that into consideration. You're also an actor and you've probably run into Trump on his Hollywood circuit more than once, which is why you may think of him and his words as that of an entertainer's: that he doesn't really mean them. 

Well, it's time to stop downplaying his words. This is a presidential candidate you're endorsing. It's not merely the policies that he will pursue that should concern you. 

The President of the United States wields enormous influence around the world. What he or she says, and the manner, style and body language of the person speaking it all conveys part of that message. 

Donald Trump has not only shown a significant lack in his ability to restrain himself, but his gift of the gab has also shown him to be a self-aggrandising individual. Your endorsement of him only serves to demonstrate that you appreciate self-inflation and people who talk a lot but don't actually do what they say they will do. Empty vessels make the most noise. 

Considering the sort of hard-hitting, masculine defining roles you've played in your entire career, I'm surprised that you self-identify with Donald Trump. Then again, these were just acting roles you played. They probably in no way really represent your true self. 

You've implied that you're backing Trump instead of Clinton because you oppose her. Well, there are other ways to challenge the Democratic nominee than voting for the character destruction of your own party. You can vote for a Libertarian instead. 

I accept Paul Ryan's statement when he spoke about keeping Trump on the ballot because 14 million people voted for him on the primary. That's a fair decision. But I disagree with Ryan's choosing to endorse Trump, along with yourself and every candidate who's said they endorse him. 

Consider the people he's surrounding himself with. Chris Christie. Mark Foley. Harold Hamm. These are the people you are associating yourself with by backing him. 

A president is a person who has to represent Everyman. How does he do so if he is prejudiced against one race or another? This isn't just a matter of loud mouthing or another actor talking shit on record. Those are all too often brushed aside and ignored because actors aren't usually taken seriously for their political opinions or acumen. 

Your treating Trump's statements like a celebrity comment is exactly the problem his followers are experiencing. They brush aside his inflammatory words as "exaggeration" or "he doesn't really mean that". That's not true, not from where the rest of the world is standing. If you take Hillary Clinton's words to be at face value, then you need to start judging Trump's words at face value as well. And decide if that is really the person you want leading the country you live in. 

Your interview in Esquire sounds exactly like Trump in some ways - loud mouthed and full of braggadocio. Perhaps I'm wrong and he is your ideal candidate. 

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