Sunday, August 12, 2007

Politics, again, and the movies

So I went on a mini-vacation his weekend, just Saturday into Sunday. It was nice to get away and I do have a thought about the beach which is where I went, but that will be in the next post. This one is about the movie I saw in the hotel room Saturday night, no it was not that kind of movie and no this is not a review although there may be some elements of review to this post. I saw Man of the Year with Robin Williams. It was billed as a comedy, but it becomes a bit of a suspense/thriller about midway through and as a thriller it was not so good, but as a comedy it was OK. So anyway, the movie has an interesting premise where a late night talk show host (I think that is his job as I missed the first bit of it) decides to run for president, I don't know how or why as I missed that part. Anyway, so I started watching at the point in which he goes to the last debate, but the first one that he is involved in. Robin Williams character begins the debate in calm fashion, but finally gets fed up with the bullshit answers being given by the Republican and Democratic candidates. The answers are the same bullshit that always seem to happen in these debates in real life. For example, when the candidates are asked why they entered the race, the two main stream candidates talk about how much they love their families and how thankful they are that people support them, whereas Tom Dobbs (Robin Williams) says he is sick of the other two parties and their bullshit and wants to make changes. Tom Dobbs later starts an actual debate with the other candidates rather than waiting his turn during the debates and is yelled at by the moderator that he has to wait his turn. He is actually challenging the candidates on their positions on the issues. The movie continues in this vein with Tom Dobbs as the voice of change and being fed up with the two other parties and the fact that they are so similar all the time.

This got me thinking about several things in this presidential campaign. First, I wish there was someone who was running as an independent or even with the two parties although, I think an independent would be better, who really did stand for change. I do like Kucinich and I think he does represent such a break from the other candidates that it would be really good if his positions were more talked about, but he is so dismissed by the main stream media that he cannot get his message out. Possibly he should run as an independent as then maybe he would not get buried in the whole democratic party mess and ignored. He might actually make a difference in the campaign or maybe Al Gore needs to run as an independent, I just want to see someone who represents real change and not just the same ol' BS. I also thought about how the debates are not really debates, they are so structured and scripted that really the differences in the candidates if there are any (I am not sure there are always differences) are not highlighted. I want to see more candidates being challenged, if not by their fellow candidates than by the moderator. I want to see more of these people have to actually defend the inconsistencies and tell us what their positions are rather than being able to waffle back and forth on an issue. I want a real debate, not a forum for the candidates to stand up there and yammer for two minutes about nothing with no cosequences. I want the moderator to say, "Ok that is nice that you like puppies and flowers and pretty things, but what the hell do you stand for?" It is easy to say we should pull our troops out of Iraq, but how would you do it? It is easy to play to your base, but what about outside your base, you are basically interviewing to become the president of the entire United States, not just your base, not just the conservative or liberal, not just the straight or gay, not just the military supporter or the non-military supporter, but everyone, all of us.

I don't have to agree with your stance on an issue, but I want you to have thought about it and have an answer that you can stand behind and not waffle on. I think about an answer that John Edwards gave about gay marriage. He said, and I am paraphrasing, that he had issues with gay marriage as within his religious beliefs homosexuality was wrong, but that he was working on this and that he was trying to justify what he knew was right, that homosexuals should not be treated differently, with his own personal religious beliefs. He still does not support gay marriage, where his wife does and hence I love her for it, but at least he was honest about this issue and said that he was struggling with it. He acknowledged that he was human and that this issue was not black and white for him as it seems so many other candidates seem to see this issue as simply a yes or no question and yet there may be an actual grey area that they have to figure out.

Finally, as I feel I have ranted enough about this, why is it that in movies and television shows the speech writers are always so good and why can we not have this in real life. I used to watch West Wing and I would wish the speech writers on that show would actually write for the president. On television it was always so much more thoughtful and inspiring than the dribble we get to hear on a daily basis from Bushie. I would grant you that it is at least partly that Bushie cannot really speak English good (yes that was intentional), but still maybe if someone with half a brain was writing for him, as we all know he does not write his own speeches, they could make him sound like he had half a brain rather than two brain cells that were always fighting for control.

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