There were some fabulous but conventional speeches at the Republican National Convention. The best were by Condoleeza Rice, Paul Ryan, and Marco Rubio. But the performance that may prove to be the most effective in securing votes, not to mention rankling liberals, was that of Clint Eastwood.
Here is this aging superstar who introduces himself self-deprecatingly as a "movie tradesman" with hair slightly out of place sporting what the late Paul Fussell referred to in his hilarious 1983 Class as a "prole gap," a class indicator often displayed by working class types on the rare and uncomfortable occasions when they don a suit. (“Here, the collar of the jacket separates itself from the collar of the shirt and backs off and up an inch or so: the effect is that of a man coming apart.") Eastwood looked like he had blown in from a session with cronies at a bar and grill.
He then launches into a 'conversation' with a chair whose absent occupant is none other than Barack Obama. The dialogue is rambling and in places incoherent, but funny as hell. Here it is in full, for your enjoyment.
An actor in an ill-fitting suit addresses an empty suit, a man as vacant as the chair he does not occupy.
The money quote and standing ovation come at 8:54: "You, we, own this country." Here, in the guise of a regular guy, Eastwood speaks truth to power, to use that darling phrase of leftists, a phrase they (absurdly) continue to deploy even when they possess power. Eastwood continued with, "Politicians are employees of ours" and "When somebody does not do the job, we've got to let them go."
Was the person who shouted out "Make my day!" a plant? Plant or not, the Eastwood performance ended on an appropriate "Dirty Harry" note. Dirty Harry, after all, cut through bullshit and did not suffer punks gladly.