My friend Em (Life, Liberty and the Pursuit) is one of the most politically savvy people I have ever met. Each Friday she harnesses some intellect and attitude, and provides truly thought provoking opinions about key issues, many of which from the political arena. I am joining her for her F.F.F.T. (Friday's Food For Thought) today, if she hates this post I promise not to intrude on her again.
I Miss The West Wing.
It is my favorite show of all time. In fact, I own every episode of every season, and have seen each at least 4 times. My brother called me shortly after having watched the first few episodes and recommended that I turn it on, and I did. And from that day, he and I would call each other and debrief on the episode that had aired the night before. That may make us the dorkiest brothers around, but my heart loves that the West Wing helped to amplify our relationship.
The West Wing was not for the meek. In many instances, the banter or humor was so fast and subtle that you really had to pay attention to catch all the nuances. I watched each episode repeatedly because the more I concentrated, the more I understood what the writer and director were aiming for.
There were humorous episodes, some quite serious, and ones with uncoincidental ties to current events. The show proved to be a showcase or launch pad for many wonderful actors like Bradley Whitford, Allison Janney, John Spencer, Rob Lowe, and of course, Martin Sheen. President Bartlett is now the bar that actors aim for when portraying the President.
And even moreso than the speed of dialogue, or its Sahara-dry wit, the one thing that I loved most about the West Wing was how it ultimately enraptured me with something as potentially dull as government. It spoke of our nation and values in terms of what is right, and just. And reminded us what the framers intended, rather than one party's spin. That and the fact that it wasn't a reality show.
Two days ago, I walked from my car to an office building with the intention of visiting with one of my doctors. As I passed the car that was lazily parked in the building's circular drive, I noticed its rear fender.
Someone had taken the time to not only deface someone's automobile, they had PREPARED their work. They had found a picture of President Obama. They had Photoshopped and altered it, taking their time to create the desired message and theme. They had printed copies, and had packed those copies in their car with a roll of scotch tape, ready to move when they found any available Obama election sticker without an accompanying security camera.
You may remember, I didnt vote for President Obama.
And although I didnt vote for him, I certainly don't dislike the man.
That being said, I do not agree with his idea for nationalized healthcare. Nor does the doctor I visited with today who is so angry about the details of the proposal that she has made a poster that hangs in her patient waiting room.
But this particular rant is not about healthcare, it is about the person who defaced the picture of our President, and then used it to deface someone else's car. And living in a democracy, instead of spending their time calling senators or lobbying their congressperson, this individual chooses civil disobediance and immaturity instead. You could be doing something constructive other than your childish pranks, and instead, all you are accomplishing is putting YOUR face on those of us who object to the policy instead of the man.
One of my favorite scenes from the West Wing involved the quirky Debbie Fiderer(played by Lily Tomlin), who had been hired as President Bartlett's Executive Secretary. It was later discovered that she had sent a letter to the President years before suggesting that his drink be laced with poison in an effort bring attention to human rights crises. The President, although angry at what a nutjob she was, allowed her to keep her job as she had referred to him not as "Bartlett", but as "President Bartlett". She respected the office, even if she wasn't thrilled with the man.
Our system of government may be horribly flawed, but it is arguably the best thing going. And the "Presidency" is bigger by far than any one man.
Democracy is the form of government chosen when people are ALLOWED to choose.
Millions of you voted this President into office, and I hope the resulting nation is what you had hoped at the end of his term.
But in the meantime, to ALL who would oppose him, respect the office even if you don't respect the man or his values.
And to you, Scotch Tape Boy... GROW UP already.
"This country is an idea. An idea that has lit the world for two centuries...The last full measure of devotion."
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