If a picture is worth a thousand words, the enormous poster of Clint Eastwood behind the real Clint Eastwood pretty much summed up the state we’re in.
We think our identity is who we really are.
We also think things were better forty years ago – when the good guy was in charge and the bad guys ran scared.
Of course, most of this is our projection. We look at the world either through a Vaseline covered lens, or through a mirror. We’re not so good at seeing reality. If we see things as they really are, it also means we have to see ourselves as who we are… and that might be a bit of a shock.
Clearly most of the people in the Republican Party conference thought they were Clint Eastwood – by association. Here’s the logic. Clint’s a Republican, I’m a Republican, therefore I AM CLINT! Now where can I buy me a gun and a fast horse.
But the world has moved on. Like many Republicans, Clint is an old man clinging to the cliff edge of the old paradigm. Our systems – financial, welfare, political, environmental and educational – are failing. But we cling to them, thinking if we only put a different guy on top of a crumbling edifice, that will be good enough to save the day.
Clint’s speech at the Republican party conference was a clarion call for the nation to develop pride (US is the greatest nation on earth duh) and to grow a pair of balls (if Obama can’t do the job, fire him and get someone better to run the country).
We cling to these old paradigms because we’re lazy. We know the story. We love the familiar archetypes – If bad guys causing trouble (Villains!) send in the tough guy (Hero!) who can shoot the bad guys, make someone Sheriff and leave town to the sound of male applause and female swooning.
We’re lazy so we like things to be simple. But things aren’t simple any more – they’re complex. Bad guys hold senior positions in politics, in banking and in corporations. Good guys aren’t so good at shooting.
We like things to be simple so we can choose a side. But both sides work within the same framework, so change can’t easily happen. Clint bemoaned the fact that Obama didn’t carry out his promises, when it was the Republicans that stopped him doing so!
If the Republican party is characterised by the patriarchy and the Democrats by the matriarchy, they’ve been in a very bad marriage for many years – fighting over who’s responsible for what’s wrong and who gets credit for what’s right; spending obscene amounts of money trying to get custody of the kids.
Without leadership, kids lack discipline. They vote for Obama because he’s a cool guy or for Romney because apparently he knows how to use a calculator.
Meanwhile the real power brokers get on with doing whatever they want to do – we are too mesmerized by the charade and the illusion of the election process.
It’s probably about time we went beyond this world of duality and at least made an attempt at unity consciousness.
Time to end the smoke and mirrors world – and break the spell we’ve been under for the past hundred years.
It takes real courage to do this. Courage isn’t the same as being tough.
Our identity likes to be tough. Tough comes with its own trailer, cool clothes and a kick ass attitude.
Courage on the other hand doesn’t require a rider full of entitlements.
It comes from the heart.
Why did the appearance of Clint Eastwood at the conference provoke such a massive reaction – from the rallying cries of the faithful to the shock and embarrassment of his fans?
Possibly because we knew it signified something else.
The death throws of an archetype.