What We Know About Clint Eastwood’s Political Views


California is no stranger to movie stars-turned-politicians. Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger are two famous examples. Still, it was Clint Eastwood’s celebrity currency that really shook up the Golden State’s local community affairs. But, what do we know about Eastwood’s political views?

Per Biography, Eastwood only served one two-year term as mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea from 1986 to 1988. However, during his brief tenure, the small city of under 4,000 residents, per Data USA, experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly as the “Dirty Harry” star flexed the full force of his celebrity might. Eastwood’s decision to run for office in the first place was, appropriately, rooted in seeking vengeance. According to “Time” magazine, the actor turned to politics after his plans to renovate a building next to his restaurant were turned down.

Once Eastwood was elected, in a landslide victory, the planning board was immediately in his line of fire, and the actor eliminated all the members who’d rejected his building plans. His renovation went ahead, as did his campaign vow to make ice cream cones rain on the Carmel residents — the sale of which had previously been prohibited due to a bizarre 1929 zoning law, per Far Out magazine. Eastwood’s legacy as mayor is checkered. Far Out notes that residents applauded his dedication to expanding toilet facilities and the local library. However, as tourism to the sleepy beach city increased, a parking war broke out between Eastwood and disgruntled locals.

Keep Them Guessing

Clint Eastwood’s two years as mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea showcased his dedication to expanding his business empire, increasing toilet facilities and library space, and allowing the unrestricted sale of ice cream cones. Still, what do we know about Eastwood’s political views?

Eastwood’s political beliefs are as wide-ranging as his mayoral achievements. They can best be summed up in a quote he once gave to Parade: “When you’re young, you’re very reckless… Then you get conservative. Then you get reckless again.” The Wall Street Journal reports that Eastwood ran for mayor on a non-partisan ticket. Although he’s mainly leaned right, Eastwood’s political party support has skewered occasionally over the years. Eastwood endorsed Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential bid and bizarrely launched a verbal attack at an empty chair representing Barack Obama during the 2012 GOP convention.

In 2016, Eastwood took issue with both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. “Well, we have a great lack of [integrity] now. It’s a madhouse out there. You wonder, what the hell?” Eastwood told Esquire. Still, ultimately, he leaned towards Trump, claiming he was “onto something” as Eastwood believed the world was going PC-crazy. “We’re really in a p**** generation,” he said. “Everybody’s walking on eggshells. We see people accusing people of being racist and all kinds of stuff. When I grew up, those things weren’t called racist.” However, in 2020, Eastwood changed his tune, telling the WSJ that he wished Trump would act “more genteel” and throwing his celebrity clout behind Democrat Mike Blomberg.

The Change Of Time

Clint Eastwood has always leaned right in his political views, but he performed a 180 in 2020. Eastwood dissed Trump in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. The actor said that although he approved of “certain things” Trump had done, he’d prefer it if Trump acted “in a genteel way, without tweeting and calling people names.” He added that politics “has gotten so ornery.” Eastwood threw his support behind a Democrat to take over the White House, albeit not Joe Biden. “The best thing we could do is just get Mike Bloomberg in there,” he said.

Eastwood identifies as Libertarian despite most of his allegiances having been to the Republican party. “My dad was fiscally conservative, and I was influenced by that,” Eastwood told the Daily Mail. “He didn’t believe in spending more than you had because it gets you into trouble. But he was also very understanding of other people’s feelings — religious or whatever — and letting people live the lives they wanted, so he was socially a liberal.”

“And I became more of a libertarian,” Eastwood continued. “Let’s leave everybody alone, quit screwing with everybody, and don’t over-regulate. It’s about giving people a chance to live by their own decisions.” Meanwhile, his right-wing allies are turning on him as Eastwood ages. “Eastwood is the rare artist who has gone from being condemned as a fascist propagandist by the left to being condemned as a fascist propagandist by the right,” Salon notes.

error: Content is protected !!