Clint Eastwood, Up Close, Somewhat Personal
Making sense of the sometimes anti-war Eisenhower Republican who sounds tough on the war on terror and occasionally "supported Democrats along the way."
9:06 AM, Feb 2, 2011 • By VICTORINO MATUS
Aiming for that master's degree in cinematic studies? How about a thesis on the politics of Clint Eastwood? (No doubt it's already been done.) But if you're trying to find a straight path from Dirty Harry to Letters From Iwo Jima, good luck. In last weekend's Wall Street Journal, Michael Judge interviews the Oscar-winning actor-director.
(Eastwood ended up missing the war because of plane crash state-side, which he managed to escape from unscathed.)
With regard to his politics,
But what seems to consistently bother Eastwood is how quickly Americans have moved on from 9/11. (He mentions this in an earlier Esquire interview as well.)
The 80-year-old director then shares his concerns about the current war on terror: "'How many rights do you want to give to people who are trying to kill you just because you're you? . . . [Y]ou may be of a different religious sect, or you may be an agnostic, or you may be anything. But you're not one of them, so you're an inferior being. . . . Do you fight on 21st-century ideas or 17th-century, like the people who are against you?'"
Is he suggesting the West take a more ruthless approach to fighting terrorists? He doesn't say. It's tempting to think of the Hollywood icon as someone "on your side." The truth, of course, is more complicated. (At the very least, Clark says Eastwood is not nearly as intimidating in person as he appears to be on screen.)