Have you seen this video yet? You’ve got to check out the clip below. It’s of a new show “The Newsroom”, on HBO, staring Jeff Daniels, and written and directed by the guy who gave us the idealized version of a democratic administration in “The West Wing,” Aaron Sorkin.
I know we are probably of like minds on this, but let me vent here. Indulge me.
In the clip below, the Jeff Daniels character sits on a panel at college event, when a student asks the question: “Why do you think America is great?” The woman to the left of Daniels gives a drab, center-left answer and the man to his right (portrayed as the conservative) simply states, “Freedom and Freedom.”
But then, Jeff Daniel’s character shocks the audience and the moderator by challenging the question itself. He goes into an aggressive monologue about why America isn’t great anymore. The audience is left with the choice of the partisan vagaries uttered by the two panelists, or Jeff’s speech on why we are no longer great, but used to be. Watch the clip (caution: it contains profanity) and then see what your take is:
Ok, did you watch it? No seriously, watch it now.
So here’s my take. Firstly, my vote on the best answer goes to the guy who said “Freedom” twice. Simple, and effective, he nailed it. The problem, as is so often the case, the left, and Sorkin in this case, are so full of themselves, so intent on satisfying their own intellectual ego, that there can be no truth, no solution, no revelation, unless THEY thought of it.
So we get a demeaning of the word “Freedom,” and a lecture from Daniels on, ironically, all things moral?!
Jeff Daniels is woefully ignorant (or rather Aaron Sorkin who apparently wrote the monologue) of what Freedom actually means, and is completely oblivious to things like socialism, government regulation, personal liberty, etc. and what they mean relative to that word “Freedom.” He also seems blissfully unaware of immigration statistics and the enormous number of people still desperate to come to the US, as opposed to Canada, Belgium, Australia, or other western countries.
“War on Poor People,” that’s what we have? If so, blame the class warfare and welfare state created by those that Sorkin supports and adores as heroes on the left. You want to start a “War on Poverty,” then deregulate, and reduce the tax burden on those doing the work and those starting the businesses that employ people. Make a competitive environment for business, instead of casting them as the enemy, and you will have jobs and prosperity, and sense of self worth instilled in your citizenry.
You don’t “fight” poverty anyway, you increase prosperity. There’s a real difference — but the significance of that difference is lost on left wing idealists who live in Hollywood and DC and have no comprehension of starting and running a small business, and don’t have the time in their egocentric lives to even take an academic interest in the beliefs of those who founded, and made this country great, or who fight for its greatness still today.
Sorkin may or may not fit into that category of Hollywood and DC liberal, but his portrayal of folks I know and have worked with — like those in the Tea Party, loving patriots who cherish the Constitution — his assertion that they are the “problem” only serves to point out how truly upside down this line of thinking is.
He uses the language, and speaks of “morality” through his surrogate, Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels’ character), but has no idea what the word means. There is no morality without God, and yet he scoffs at this notion and implies that America leads the world in ignorance because it has the most citizens per capita that believe in angels.
America may not be the greatest country in the world anymore — after the last presidential election, and in Alaska, the last senatorial election, I certainly have my doubts — but it’s not for any of the reasons that Sorkin sites. If Sorkin really wants to return to American greatness, maybe he should start at the start, and look at the men and words of its foundation, and search for the heart of what made us great, in the words and deeds of the men who fought and died creating and protecting it, instead of plying leftist propaganda in pseudo-intellectual elitist centrist wrapping, and calling it a return to the “good old days.”
The “good old days” weren’t always good, but their core values were: a country that cherished the rights of the individual over the rights of the state, that trusted God, not Government, as their ultimate arbiter of morality. The people of that era weren’t great because they were informed, per se, as Sorkin asserts, they were great because they read the bible, feared God, and loved liberty. It was those qualities that drove them to become informed. But information without the will and the moral wisdom to act on it is useless.
Liberty gave them that will, and God that wisdom. Sorkin can’t, or rather his intellectual elitist egotism won’t let him see that.
That’s my take. What do you think?
Dr Walter Campbell is a lifelong Alaskan, former Marine, and physician.