Sunday, July 17, 2011

Transformers and President Obama

I suppose we can write this one off to "art imitating life," but has anyone actually watched the last two "Transformer" movies ("Revenge of the Fallen" and "Dark of the Moon")? In both movies, the Obama administration is portrayed as wanting to surrender Sam and the Autobots to the Decepticons and later ordering the Autobots to leave the planet. Normally, Hollywood tends to be fairly liberal (I'm sure most liberals out there would disagree), so it was unusual to see the Obama administration so portrayed. Of course, I'm not trying to assert and claim that this was a wanton example of "democratic" pacifism. In the end, I'm sure it was my fault, reading too much into a Hollywood movie (don't the critics do that all the time?). I guess we should just be thankful that we still had Optimus Prime to save our backsides. Maybe the republicans should use Optimus in the debt ceiling debate.

The Absence of Civic Virtue in America

One does not have to be a genius to recognize the obscene rise in partisanship in America today. Our two parties have sprinted for the opposite ends of the political spectrum and staked out a "no man's land" for those moderates in between. Whatever happened to the Conservative Democrats or, even more scarce, the liberal Republicans? We still see some conservative democrats on the state and local levels but they are non-existent on the national level. To show my age, I believe Nelson Rockefeller might have been the last liberal republican. This most recent spectacle, the debate on the debt limit might serve as exhibit A for our rise in partisanship. To be honest, it's simple to see what is behind this debate, we're already looking towards 2012. When one reads the writings of the founding fathers, one constantly comes across this idea of "civic virtue." The belief was quite simple, when a representative casts his vote, it should be based on the simple idea of what is in the best interests of the NATION, not the best interests of the party or local area. I wonder how much more could be accomplished if our current batch of representatives would follow that "ancient" notion?