Wednesday, March 23, 2005

West Wing: Television Imitates Reality, But Does it Better

In real life, we got nauseated watching Democrat Ron Silver cross over to support George Bush in the last election. On West Wing, Ron Silver's charcter, Democratic political consultant Bruno Gianelli, is working as an advisor to the Republican candidate for President.

The similarities between Silver/Bruno supporting the Republican end there. The Republican who Bruno supports is Arnold Vinick, played by Alan Alda, and is closer to Hawkeye Pierce (who Alda played on M*A*S*H) than a modern Republican. Vinick, who could never win the Republican nomination in real life, is a Republican Senator who I could support for President. He has been shown to be a man of integrity, and who is socially liberal. including support for abortion rights.

Bruno supports Vinick on West Wing because he is a man who can unite the country, supporting principles which are supported by the majority of people and are good for the nation. He advises Vinick that he could help him to a fifty state victory rather than carving out an electoral college victory by pandering to the right wing.

In real life Silver abandoned principle to support a Republican nominee who has placed politics above country, and has been one of the most divisive Presidents in history. Rather than supporting a man who has policies which are good for the country, Silver has supported George Bush, who has undermined the nation's security and has abandoned the principles this country was founded upon.

For those who are upset about the prospect of supporting a Republican for President even on a TV show, there remains hope. While Vinick leads on television, a real life Zogby poll shows a majority of viewers supporting the probable Democratic nominee Matt Santos, played by Jimmy Smits. If only real life Presidential elections were a choice between two good men as they are on the fantasy world of West Wing.


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