I grew up watching Clint Eastwood shoot outlaws, serial killers and inner-city gangbangers. I have a lot of respect for Mr. Eastwood and have loved nearly everything he has been involved in, whether it be in front of or behind the camera.
Eastwood recently made waves with a two minute Super Bowl ad claiming it is “halftime in America.” The ad was commissioned by Chrysler to show Americans that if they just pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, we as a country could turn things around just like Detroit did.
In an exclusive with Fox News, Eastwood said his ad was about “job growth and the spirit of America.” Still many have attacked it as being a pro-Obama statement. The fact that Eastwood only gave an interview to Fox News would seem to discredit that argument, especially given Eastwood’s affiliation with the Republican party.
I do not believe the ad is endorsing the auto bailout or President Barack Obama. My issue with the ad does not stem from its supposed political implications, but its message in general.
As much as I hate to disagree with Dirty Harry, I hardly think that Detroit is a representative sample of the American public. While I supported the auto bailouts, I find it hard to believe that China — or any other country — is going to just give us a couple billion dollars in good faith so we can get back on our feet.
While Eastwood growls at you from the TV in his famous gravel factory tone, things in America are bad — worse than they have been in a long time. I do not have to tell you all the statistics, since chances are you are confronted with them on a daily basis and maybe even experience them in your own life.
One statistic I will bring up, however, is our national debt. According to USDebtClock.org the national debt is currently around $15 trillion — with a “t”— dollars and climbing. At the current rate, by 2016 the national debt could be as high as $25 trillion. The point behind these giant numbers is that America is in a hole, not playing a game.
If I were to use an analogy to describe America’s current status I would liken it to Sisyphus rolling his boulder up a hill rather than Eli Manning throwing footballs — no, I do not follow sports. For those of you who never took mythology, Sisyphus was a man cursed with rolling a boulder up a hill for all eternity only to have it roll down to the bottom once he reached the crest of the hill.
What I mean is that while the U.S. does indeed see highs and lows economically they occur in a cyclical fashion. Just as we push the boulder up to the summit of that hill of debt it falls right back to the bottom again. The good news is that unlike old Sisyphus, when our boulder falls it never quite goes as far down as it did the last time. This is referred to as the business cycle, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.
So while the ad was relatively inspirational and could give some Americans hope, the cynic in me says that things in the U.S. need more than a little can-do attitude to be set right. If it truly is “halftime in America,” as Eastwood said, that means we have about 236 years left. Frankly I would be surprised if we made it that far.