Another Republican luminary has gone public with strong feelings about Donald Trump. Really, really strong feelings. He didn’t pussyfoot like Paul Ryan. He wasn’t a convention no-show, like John Kasich.
Hollywood tough guy Clint Eastwood emptied both barrels in an interview with Esquire magazine, aiming squarely … at those who have taken the presidential candidate to task for racism and other, well, rough edges.
“He’s said a lot of dumb things,” the actor and director said of the man who has pilloried Mexicans, Muslims, immigrants, women, and the list goes on and on. “So have all of them. Both sides. But everybody – the press and everybody’s going, ‘Oh, well, that’s racist’, and they’re making a big hoodoo out of it”.
Eastwood’s advice to America: “Just fucking get over it. It’s a sad time in history”.
This country, he said, is plagued by what he derided as “a pussy generation”, and he wasn’t talking about all those cute videos your mom posts on FaceBook.
Trump, the actor fumed, is “onto something, because secretly everybody’s getting tired of political correctness, kissing up. That’s the kiss-ass generation we’re in right now. We’re really in a pussy generation. Everybody’s walking on eggshells.
“We see people accusing people of being racist and all kinds of stuff”, Eastwood continued. “When I grew up, those things weren’t called racist”.
He knows a thing or two about racial slurs, as anyone who has watched the movie Gran Torino can attest. In it, he plays Walt Kowalski, a retired auto worker and Korean War veteran who hates the Asian, Latino and black families that move into his changing neighborhood.
Before he gets a change of heart and becomes heartwarmingly friendly with an Asian teen who was pushed by gang members to steal his eponymous car, Eastwood/Kowalski lets loose with pretty much any slur you can think of – “chinks”, “zipperheads”, “jabbering gooks”.
In a bar scene when he’s surrounded by his old, white guy friends, he lets loose with a joke that sets them all off laughing: “I’ve got one”, he starts, waving his half-full pint glass. “A Mexican, a Jew and a colored guy go into a bar. The bartender looks up and says, ‘get the fuck out of here’.”
Ba dum bum.
“And then when I did Gran Torino”, Eastwood told Esquire, “even my associate said, ‘This is a really good script, but it’s politically incorrect’. And I said, ‘Good. Let me read it tonight’. The next morning, I came in and I threw it on his desk and I said, ‘We’re starting this immediately’.”
On Trump’s deriding Indiana-born US district judge Gonzalo Curiel for being unfair because of his Mexican heritage, Eastwood was dismissive. “Yeah,” he said, “It’s a dumb thing.”
Eastwood has not endorsed his rhetorical soulmate, he said, but given a choice between the billionaire real estate mogul and the former US secretary of state, he’ll vote for Trump in a heartbeat. After all, Hillary Clinton said she’d carry on Obama’s legacy, which is anathema to a man who was once the mayor of an upscale seaside town in California.
Besides, he said, Clinton’s is “a tough voice to listen to for four years”.
The worst thing about politics today, says the man who describes himself as part of the “anti-pussy generation. Not to be confused with pussy” – is that politicians basically put him to sleep.
“They’re boring everybody,” he said. “Chesty Puller, a great Marine general, once said, ‘You can run me, and you can starve me, and you can beat me, and you can kill me, but don’t bore me.’ And that’s exactly what’s happening now: Everybody is boring everybody. It’s boring to listen to all this shit. It’s boring to listen to these candidates.”
If he were writing a stump speech today, Eastwood said, it would be, “Knock it off. Knock everything off.”
This article was written by Maria L La Ganga in San Francisco, for theguardian.com on Thursday 4th August 2016 01.42 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010