Updated: Oct 18, 2018
Every person who has ever been in any type of sales position knows that, after you present your successful ‘pitch’, you stop talking. The reason is simply because you have said everything positive and now the potential client has to make up their mind. Any additional information you add could begin a spiral downturn, away from securing the sale. One of the old adages in sales is ‘If you let him talk long enough, he’ll talk himself right out of a sale.”
After listening to recent US election debates, conventions and media coverages, I am coming to the conclusion that the old sales saying applies not only to sales people, but to everyone, especially celebrities. I have therefore rephrased the age old axiom to read ‘If you give anyone enough time they will destroy their own legacy’.
One example that comes to mind is Clint Eastwood. Now, before I paraphrase his recent, damning comment, please realize that I am a devout fan of the man who rode into my living room every Friday night at 7:30, as Rowdy Yates on Rawhide. I loved him as ‘The Man With No Name’ in all the spaghetti westerns, and who could not be thrilled to watch Dirty Harry catch the bad guys.
As a director, this 86 year old icon has exceeded the potential of most people. Films like Million Dollar Baby and American Sniper were masterpieces and yes, he was even the Mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. So why would someone, so accomplished, open his mouth at the critical time in US politics, and speak so blatantly about racism, without thinking.
I would expect most people; especially those in a position of influence, to exercise a moral responsibility, and either abolish the prospect that racism is a recent problem, or better yet, say nothing at all. His comment, for those of you who have not read or heard it, was ““We see people accusing people of being racist and all kinds of stuff. When I grew up, those things weren’t called racist.”
Now I appreciate that Clint was born in 1930, during a pretty tough time in American history. A time when people were starving, farmers were losing their livelihood, and everyone was generally in a negative slump. But, really, saying racism didn’t exist?
I read the article several times and became quite upset, because I know many people are easily led by comments made by their heroes. The US election is a prime example of misleading comments leading individuals. I sat back, relaxed and looked deeper at my hero, Clint. He seems to be quite outspoken, and once commented on becoming Republican because they promised to end the Korean War. Fortunately for me, I took the time to dig into the facts, and discovered I am not impressed with what I learned. I wonder how many people don’t bother, instead simply believing what they hear.
Eastwood is an extremely talented actor and director, but that certainly does not give him the right to voice his opinion on the public stage. He, like so many other celebrities feel they can say what they want, and because they have millions of people following their social media posts, they actually influence the masses with their deranged comments.
I remember reading last year that Charlie Sheen, certainly not what I would consider a role model for anyone, has 2 million followers on Twitter. He is being paid megabucks to endorse products, and is definitely not alone. Kim Kardashian, Ozzie Osborne and Justin Bieber (with 85 million followers on Twitter), to name a few, are in a similar position.
It is very scary to realize that millions of people are absorbing unproven statements from unqualified speakers. If only people would adhere to the old mantra, ‘Engage brain before putting mouth in gear’. Think of the number of problems that would never exist.