Thursday, December 10, 2015

Presidential Legacy

I was watching the TV series "The West Wing" last night.
No, you're not mistakenly reading a post from 1999 when the showed premiered on TV, today is the 10th of December, 2015.

I'm just slow like that.

I was recently looking around a second hand store in one of the many desert towns in Arizona and I noticed on a shelf the complete series of "The West Wing" for sale. The owner proudly told me I could have it for $35.
I proudly handed him $35. I am now the proud owner of the complete series of one of my favorite TV shows....EVER!!!

What brings me out of blogging semi-retirement today, is a "special feature" I watched after season 3 of TWW last night. They were interviewing various people who had worked in the White House for real, and they were explaining, or trying to, what it was like to actually work there and how on point the creators of this show were in depicting life in the White House. They interviewed 2 former presidential aides, a couple of people that held the position of White House Counsel, a couple of Presidential spokesman, and 2 former Presidents, Clinton and Carter.

Some of these people served in Democratic White Houses and some in Republican. I swear I got chills watching them speak. They all conveyed one thing, they made it very clear how proud they were to have served in that big white house.

And that got me thinking. How did we end up here, where we are now, the Presidential politics of today? Have we sunk really really low, or is it just my imagination? So I got thinking back as far as this 60 year old can. I'm sure there has always been in fighting between the 2 party's, but I get the impression they were more civil about it back in the day. I was 8 when President Kennedy was murdered, so I don't remember much. But from what I have read I understand there were many people who hated the fact that he was a catholic. But I never got the sense while reading about him, that the hatred was so strong that it fractured the country like it is today.

Nixon screwed up bad with the taping system he had installed in the White House, that ultimately made him resign as President of the United States. President Ford pardoned him, which caused a stir for a few months, but I don't remember the out and out hatred that exists today.

I don't remember Kennedy or Nixon saying things like "I WILL BUILD A GREAT GREAT WALL!"

President Reagan once said, " Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means." Sounds like a sensible man to me, no matter what side of the isle you are on.

Ben Carson once said, "I mean, America is very much like Nazi Germany........"

Bill Clinton said, "Promising too much can be as cruel as caring too little."

Do you see a pattern here? It has nothing to do with Democrat or Republican. I just feel that for the most part in years past, excluding a dingbat or two, politics were more civil, the players a little classier than this bunch of circus freaks we have today in our political arena.

I don't think history will shine a very favorable light on these recent political times.

I wonder if when interviewed years from now, workers in today's West Wing will feel the same pride that was felt by others in years past?


Donna said...

Glad you're back!
The West Wing on continuous loop, pretending that Josiah Bartlett was my President, is the only thing that got me through the G W Bush years!

And NO, I don't think it's just your perception that's warped.
I think the political landscape in this country has reached a new all time low (and I'm older than you); a landscape where the basest, most crass elements of our society have been elevated to some kind of 'norm' by mass media force feeding them to us 24/7; where provocative and polarizing sound bites are more important than reason and restraint and where 'gravitas' and a capacity for deep thought is seen as a liability not a requirement for the leader of the free country.
It makes my heart sad.
Trump is scary enough ... the fact that any person could actually believe he speaks anything but self aggrandizing garbage and support him is even scarier!

Pepper Medley said...

There is no candidate worthy of voting for and it's just plain sad. No decent (and I use that term loosely) politician even wants to take on the job of president anymore.... only the losers/clowns apply for the position these days, and the World looks at the USA and laughs.

Wayne said...

Politics were more civil back in the day. Now it's all about what jackass tweeted the latest nonsense.

bmx swag said...

It's so dis-heartening. I feel ashamed too, that too many people in our country are acting so dis-respectful and VENOMOUS! It's like a disease. (PS - Have you seen Scandal? I hope THAT'S not realistic...)

dcpeg said...

Your observations are spot-on. I vividly remember the fear among my friends' Republican parents when Kennedy ran. They just KNEW JFK would force everyone to be Catholic. HA! Politics is sinking and much of it is due to social media that allow any lug-head to write and post whatever he wants. I know, freedom of speech and all, but at one time personal integrity tamed our baser ways and prevented such poisonous thought.

Karen Ann said...

oh Mark, I couldn't agree with you more, very well said, friend.

Marilyn Miller said...

Good to see your comments back here once again. I feel like right now we are the laughing stock of the world with the characters running for president. I hope we can pull it out of the bag and bring the country back to some resemblance of intelligence.

sharon oler said...

I've missed your words! Welcome back.
I agree.