Thinking Like a JD

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The last night of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, the surprise guest was Clint Eastwood. Many things have been said about his appearance and his speech. In fact, the moment he walked off stage, the RNC had already issued a statement attempting to distance themselves from him. I’m not going to regurgitate the critiques of his appearance. But, I do want to address one point he made.

“I think attorneys are so busy – you know they’re always taught to argue everything, always weigh everything, weigh both sides.” The full text of Mr. Eastwood’s speech can be found here.

Mr. Eastwood seems to be arguing (like attorneys do) that weighing both sides of the discussion, (or, all sides, as is more often the case), is not to be desired. Really? Yes, it’s true, you are taught a new way of thinking when you attend law school. You learn to analyze and yes, weigh both sides, in order to reach the most informed decision you can.

Is it better to make up your mind before considering all options? Mr. Eastwood seems to think so. Most people I know call that stubborn, close minded, wearing horse blinders and a whole host of other cliches. Weighing all sides of a discussion and reaching an informed decision is not to be frowned upon; it is to be embraced.

Here’s my last point: you could try to make the argument that Mr. Eastwood was differentiating President Obama and Governor Romney by saying that President Obama has a JD so he thinks and reasons and that is not something we want in a president. Conversely, Governor Romney makes quick decisions without considering all outcomes. While this difference may, in fact, be an accurate description of these two men, Governor Romney has a JD, too, and was taught the same way of reasoning that President Obama was, in fact, at the same law school!

So, if Mr. Eastwood truly believes having someone make rash decisions is to be admired in a president, then he should find a different candidate to back because Governor Romney was taught to analyze and reason just like President Obama.