The best thing we could do is just get Mike Bloomberg in there,” screen legend Clint Eastwood said February 21 in the Wall Street Journal. The actor and director’s comment raised eyebrows, especially coming from one of Hollywood’s few openly conservative luminaries. Eastwood, 89, told interviewer Tunku Varadarajan that he liked “certain things that Trump’s done,” but wishes the president behaved “in a more genteel way.”
How sad that such a prominent and normally sensible figure on the Right opposes Donald J. Trump, not on policy differences, but because the president does not mirror Mr. Rogers.
Yes, Trump should use Twitter more selectively. And his name-calling often is counterproductive. But it is baffling for Eastwood to abandon Trump, whom he backed in 2016, because the filmmaker wants a “more genteel” president. Like so many who oppose Trump’s style, Eastwood pines for a long-lost world.
Political gentility sounds lovely, but it must be a two-way street. Alas, Eric Holder, Obama’s attorney general, perfectly captured the attitude of today’s Left: “When they go low, we kick ’em. That’s what this new Democratic Party is about.”
Eastwood and others who share his concerns crave gentility, even as Democrats and their Left-wing media allies call Trump a black-hating white-nationalist who — Resist Fascism’s Sunsara Taylor said on February 22, 2017 — “could arguably be worse than Hitler.”
Even worse, at least eight artists have depicted, by turns, Trump’s stabbing, shooting, rape, and decapitation.
The Trump-hating Left also displays its gentility by violently attacking conservatives and Trump supporters. Leftist thug Zachary Greenberg clocked Hayden Williams a year ago for manning a Turning Point USA literature table at U.C. Berkeley. Williams’ black eye was conspicuous in his subsequent TV appearances.
Last June, Antifa terrorists assaulted conservative Internet journalist Andy Ngo in Portland. They sent him to the hospital with a cerebral hemorrhage.
Art dealer Jahangir Turan says 15 to 18 teenagers last August beat his face in for wearing a Make America Great Again hat on Manhattan’s Canal Street.
Jacksonville, Florida, police say that on February 8, Gregory William Loel Timm, 27, steered his van into a tent in which local Republicans registered voters. Why? “Someone had to take a stand,” he said. The police report added: “The suspect advised that he does not like President Trump.”
Daniel Sprague’s red hat says, “Make Fifty Great Again.” Even this was too much for a woman in Nashville who attacked him from behind on February 10, yelling “How dare you?” She drew blood from his cheek. Sprague says the cut “is pretty deep, and it goes to the bone.”
Conservatives tried “genteel” with Mitt Romney, Baby Bush, and Daddy Bush. Although sometimes grumpy, the late Senator John McCain (R – Arizona) fit this category. These “genteel” Republicans either lost to tougher Democrats or knuckled under and became their butlers: They brought Democrats fresh social programs, delivered piles of domestic spending, imposed new regulations, and adopted new entitlements.
None of this should be news to a conservative like Eastwood.
In a land of inescapable tradeoffs, Americans should focus on President Trump’s public policy. If so, they will see a tough, energetic, and focused leader who delivers what conservatives and free-marketeers want, 90 percent of the time: Tax cuts, deregulation, energy independence, constitutionalist judges, dead terrorists, and more.
As for the other 10 percent, Trump raised import taxes. But now, they’re yielding to new-and-improved trade deals with China, Mexico, Canada, South Korea, Japan, and — in production — the UK and India.
Social spending is too high, but that was Democrats’ ransom for freeing vital defense outlays. Trump should have driven harder bargains here, but he chose national security over fiscal discipline.
Is having a 90-percent conservative president worth the trade-off in occasional Twitter outbursts and grade-school name-calling? I say: Hell, yes!
Too bad all of this has eluded the Genteel Caucus, led by Clint Eastwood.
Pity: He did not make my day.