Opinion

Eastwood Talks to Empty Chair: An Overview of the Republican National Convention

SARAH VERMELAND, Contributor

The Republican National Convention has finalized their ticket: Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Representative Paul Ryan, WI. Although the ticket nomination was supposed to be the focal point of the RNC, this year’s convention ran a little bit differently. This RNC was more of a social gathering for its attendees, rather than the nominating, platform-deciding, serious debate that it should have, and has been in past years.

The first things that set off a warning bell were the extreme inaccuracies of Paul Ryan’s speech. It seemed as though he was hesitant to use real facts on the off chance that they might hold a liberal bias.

Ryan claimed that the Janesville General Motors plant had closed during the Obama administration. However, according to The Washington Post, the last day of production at the plant was under the Bush administration on Dec. 23, 2008.

Ryan also claimed that the president took $716 billion out of Medicare at the expense of the elderly. In fact, the cuts came from the program’s providers’ paychecks and, consequently, that money substantially improved the system’s finances. The users and beneficiaries still get the same coverage.

People are accustomed to seeing celebrities on red carpets and at award shows, but not at political conventions, and certainly not at the RNC. Regardless, Clint Eastwood decided to make a “surprise appearance” to have a little chat with an invisible “Mr. President” sitting in a chair next to him. Eastwood’s speech was filled with unjustified claims and one hypocritical phrase after another.

Eastwood’s onstage exchange with an imaginary Obama in an empty chair—who at one point hurled an imaginary curse at him—managed to overshadow the convention and leave the whole country scratching their heads. Ann Romney awkwardly called it “unique,” and a person should know they messed up when even Ann Romney does not have anything nice to say.

Overlooking Eastwood’s appearance, a national convention that may help decide the fate of this country is nothing to take lightly. The convention is a bit of a yawner every once in a while with all of the old white men in suits. However, even that would be far more productive than the “rock concert” atmosphere that took place this year.

There are numerous reasons as to why Beloit students should take these missteps and goofs seriously. Is this how you would want the potential leader of the United States to speak? Now that the Romney/Ryan ticket has their platform set, they can no longer afford to take this anything but seriously. Take a close look at the issues, the lack of personal rights for both men and women in the nominees’ ticket, and think about the fact that a potential disaster in the form of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan could really happen if young, old, new and experienced voters do not do something to stop it.

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