Get your empty chairs ready


Holly New

“Do you feel lucky, punk?” Well, I do.

While you were out celebrating Labor Day, I was celebrating a unique and thought-provoking new holiday: the first annual National Empty Chair Day. That’s right, I put an empty chair in my front lawn.

Now, for those of you who think I have lost my marbles, National Empty Chair Day is completely legitimate. It all started at the Republican National Convention where Clint Eastwood, the man behind Dirty Harry and Million Dollar Baby, gave a speech alongside a chair which sat an imaginary President Barack Obama. Clint asked “Obama” questions about his policies and track record, and then proceeded to answer for him.

Eastwood’s 10-minute bit turned into a national trend, also known as “Eastwooding,” or the act of yelling or scolding an empty chair in lieu of a person. Pictures and videos flooded the Internet of people taking pictures of empty chairs and their subsequent scolding. “Eastwooding” eventually morphed into National Empty Chair Day, where people were encouraged to display empty chairs in support of Eastwood’s speech.

However, the movement has gained some ridicule, so if you find the idea of yelling at an empty chair idiotic, consider the message behind the chair. National Empty Chair Day did originate from conservative bloggers, but after watching Eastwood’s speech, I came to two conclusions that people on any side of the aisle can agree on.

First, like Eastwood, I think we should all have the guts to ask our politicians the tough questions, even if not to their face.

It is our responsibility to become informed and remind politicians that they will be forced to listen come Election Day.

Second, I think we need to remember that we are Americans. And while we differ in beliefs and opinions, we should come together as a nation. We can become so enveloped in politics that we forget our basic commonality: we live in the wonderful United States of America.

I think Clint summed it up nicely when he said, “It is that, you, we—we own this country… It is not you owning it, and not politicians owning it. Politicians are employees of ours… I just think it is important that you realize that you’re the best in the world. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican or whether you’re Libertarian or whatever, you are the best. And we should not ever forget that.”