I just actually watched Clint Eastwood’s “chair” speech. I have a few things to say about it.
(If you haven’t watched it, it’s really awkward, but here’s a link to YouTube.)
1 – He’s an old man, an actor, a respected individual, who was trying to make a joke and play to his audience. He was nervous, and anyone who’s spoken in front of a crowd knows that whatever joke you plan in advance never goes the way you want, and when you have hundreds of people looking at you like you’ve gone ’round the bend, it just makes it that much worse, no matter how much you try to salvage it. He kept turning to it to try to salvage it, because he didn’t know what else to do. It’s a human condition – get over it.
2 – He made a great point that no one is highlighting, because they’re too busy calling him a “crazy old man who yelled at a chair” – POLITICIANS ARE EMPLOYEES OF THEIR CITIZENS. What do you do when your employee is doing a crappy job? You find someone who can do the job correctly, to your specifications…or at least as close as possible. I think of this country as a hiring committee, where each vote is a job recommendation. Sometimes they add up, and a good portion of the population isn’t happy about the person who gets the job, but a 4-year chance is given…and that’s longer than most jobs. If that person does a good job, we give them another four years. If not, we find someone else. It’s simple. You don’t have to agree with what someone says about your candidate, you don’t have to be an ass about someone else’s candidate – you just vote for yours, be secure in your vote, and…yep…get over it.
3 – He LITERALLY said that he didn’t care whether you were Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian, as long as you voted for the candidate you believed in, rather than just voting for someone you may not like just because you don’t like the other person more. YOU GUYS, HE’S RIGHT. LISTEN TO HIM.
Eastwood stuttered, stammered, lost his train of thought, and, from a public-speaking perspective, I just wanted to give him a teleprompter and tell him to read and not deviate.
However – that was HIM. That’s who he is. We’re used to Dirty Harry, to the decisive, much younger, gun-slingin’ cowboy-turned-hardassed-coach (I mean, look at his roles…he doesn’t get very tender in many of them…thoughtful, yes, but not tender), and lose sight of the fact that he’s a human being. He’s got fears, hopes, and concerns. He’s EIGHTY-TWO YEARS OLD. For him to still be as active as he is…I mean, that’s awesome. I’m not knocking his age in any way – I’m impressed.
You just have to keep those things in mind. That woman who shouted from the crowd for him to say his famous movie line? She probably didn’t process much of what he said, because she was thinking about what an ass-kicking cowboy he was. And that’s okay, but it’s also what people are thinking about when they focus on the chair “conversation.” He kept making jokes that Obama was telling him and Romney to go fuck themselves (it’s made very clear what the intent is…contextually, he couldn’t have been clearer if he’d said it out loud), and because it made the crowd laugh once, of course he’s going to do it again. He’s an actor. He likes applause and acclaim. It’s why he not only said his famous line, but led the crowd in saying the last part of it. He knows what he’s known for, and despite his efforts to try to say something real and thoughtful, he’s Dirty Harry. The chair-focus crowd? The ones calling him crazy? They’re also thinking about him as an actor, and they have him frozen in their minds as a character, and so when he deviates from what’s expected, it throws folks off.
Charlton Heston went through a lot of the same stuff. Many actors, particularly conservative ones, have this problem.
They’re just people. We’re all just people. We’re voters.
Just vote, and stop worrying so much about fighting with everyone else. Seriously. Leave that to the politicians and lobbyists. Do your research, make your decisions, and make the decision that’s right for YOU.