I’ve been an admirer…hell, a worshipper of you, your acting style and most many most of your films for decades, starting with Play Misty For Me and the under-seen, under-appreciated Breezy. I reallly loved Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby and Gran Torino. (I ran a series of quote-excerpt pieces called “Friends of Torino.”) You gave me a phoner for a 1994 Los Angeles magazine piece I wrote called “Right Face,” about the career pressures faced by conservative-minded filmmakers, and you’ve been ultra-gracious and gentlemanly the three times we’ve spoken, and you were also very cool on the phone…’nuff said.

And I got and respected what I thought you were saying when you once called yourself an “Eisenhower Republican.” I’ve always respected genuine conservatives. I became an admirer of the late Barry Goldwater after catching that HBO doc, Mr. Conservative, that his granddaughter, CC Goldwater, directed. I’ve come to realize that the once-reviled Richard Nixon wasn’t so bad after all, and would be defined by today’s nutter righties as an Obama-like centrist, given his views on healthcare. John McCain isn’t such a bad guy, I’m told, and I admired that he at least tried to contain the Palin craziness during the ’08 campaign. But you’ve just endorsed Mitt Romney, Clint, and I feel truly sad and disappointed and turned around by this.

If Trouble With The Curve is a good or great film then that’s what it is, and I will describe it as such. I will never let my political feelings interfere with my ability to recognize and champion quality work. So this is not about Trouble With The Effing Curve.

This is about a presumption that a guy born in the 1930s who’s earned considerable success in a tough industry and who’s won the respect of people across the spectrum is supposed to be a little bit wiser and perhaps even more perceptive than many if not most of us. You’ve been a rightie since the ’60s — I get that. But by endorsing Romney you’re…I don’t know what you’re doing but I feel crestfallen.

You don’t care what I think about Romney, but just as surely as you are a good guy, he is a bad one. You must know this. He’s not a genuine heartland conservative as much as a corporate finagler and appeaser of the the ongoing corporate criminality that’s gotten us into such trouble, starting with Reagan. He’s an embodiment of 1% elitism and tax havens and flim-flammery, pricey show horses (okay, his wife’s), wheeler-dealer indifference to working schlubs, colossal cluelessness (“corporations are people too”), political awkwardness and lack of diplomacy (did you catch his European-tour act?), health-care hypocrisy (you know there was never a dime’s worth of difference between Romney’s Massachusetts health-care plan and Obama’s), garage elevators, etc. You don’t want to hear this any more than I want to write it but God, man….why? WTF?