October 14, 2005

Commander in Geena

I absolutely love this program! Obviously, I’m intrigued by the fact that the new President is a woman as well as an Independent in affiliation. But, this week’s episode showed me something else. Something special.

After all the heat, criticism, & second guessing she has to put up with as the first female President of the United States, President Mackenzie Allen (Geena Davis) keeps composure and makes the correct decisions (notice I didn’t say the ‘right’ decisions). She polled her leadership team, included her new VP-to-be, weighed her alternatives, and did not flinch. She performed with poise & grace, and clearly commanded respect. She earned that respect because she has integrity. She has integrity because she has their trust. Whose trust? Everyone’s. She’s a true leader.

“First Strike” – Episode #3

In this episode she had to deal with an incident where nine DEA agents were assassinated in Latin America. After intelligence determined conclusively that the corrupt dictator of that country was responsible, her cabinet eventually came up with a plan to bomb the cocoa fields & cocaine refining factories as retaliation. It wasn’t their first option and her cabinet had to scramble for a creative response short of declaring war. There was no need to invade and occupy this country just because she had a beef with the dictator.

She gave an address on national television to explain the plan, which incited a coup to overthrow the corrupt dictator and re-installed the deposed, democratically elected, friendly-to-the-United States president. Upon learning of the coup, she retracted the plan to bomb the cocoa fields, but not the plan to demolish the cocaine refining factories - an earlier scene explained that the cocoa industry is the country’s primary economic anchor and the cocoa crop has many other non-cocaine uses. She had a plan… not to damage/destroy the country, but to overthrow the dictator’s regime and return the country to democracy, and friendly to the United States.

Dare to compare

When I compare this to our current president I almost don’t know where to begin. Here is a president with respect and credibility. A president who acted in the best interests of the people. A president who probed to understand the nuances & ramifications, and persisted to unveil hidden alternatives. A president who communicated with authority, but not arrogance.

Compare this to our current president who has no curiosity or desire to understand the implications of his actions. A president who makes decisions in the best interests of his corporate donors; certainly not in the best interests of the people. A president who has lied at every turn, is immersed in an abundance of scandal, and has absolutely no credibility or integrity. A president who has literally run our country into the ground and jeopardized the future for our children.

And if you think I’M all ‘gloom-&-doom’, I highly encourage you to check out this article from the U.K. Mirror by Dermot Purgavie. This article is both astonishing and frightening, and I have absolutely no doubt that everything in it is 100% true. Please read it – you’ll be shocked!

Where’s the cronyism?

There’s one more facet to this series that I found fascinating. As Geena Davis’ character (President Mackenzie Allen) ascended to the presidency (she was VP when the President died), she naturally had to decide on a new Vice President. The Republican Speaker of the House (‘Nathan Templeton’ played by Donald Sutherland) tried to steer her to nominating one of his own cronies, but she had her heart set on someone else. Someone even her own husband wasn’t too keen on. Someone who wasn’t even in her own party (perhaps not so surprising since she’s an Independent).

Peter Coyote plays ‘Warren Keaton’, a standing General, clearly well versed & experienced in all things international & military. However, he was her Vice-Presidential opponent in the previous election. A political foe (complete with flashbacks from their VP debate where he was of course highly critical of her), yet uniquely qualified, and a pillar of integrity.

She didn’t want a crony who would automatically “Yes” her. She didn’t give one thought to paying back a political favor. She didn’t look for a glamorous candidate who would court the electorate and sail through nomination hearings. She knew exactly who she wanted… the best person who would compliment her weaknesses and help her do her job – making the best possible decisions in the interests of the people of this country (and apparently many others as well).

I know this is just a television show, but I can’t help but make the logical comparisons. I can’t help but be amazed and astonished at this magnificent case study of how our president should behave, and where our president’s interests should be focused. And I can’t help but fantasize that some day our president might be like this. But alas, we’re stuck with 3 more years of this hell known as the Bush Administration.

Sometimes I just hate reality.


Post a Comment

<< Home