The G8 leaders’ limos will be driving past fake storefronts ‘stocked’ with fake goods later this month, according to IrishCentral.
Letters from an Ohio Farmer takes a look at the shift in presidential politics a century ago, and the fallout today. The post begins:
We have noted in these letters that the modern presidential campaign has become a long, long job interview, which favors applicants who are good at running for president but not necessarily those who are good at being president. A vetting process that favors those who are good at electoral politics over those who are merely good at governance is obviously detrimental to America’s republican experiment. Serious as that problem is, it seems to me that the danger to constitutional government from modern presidential politics goes even deeper.
From Mr. Smith and The Ides of March, by Robinson O’Brien-Bours:
While both Clooney’s and Capra’s films depict a political system rife with corruption, there is a hugely important difference between the two. Clooney’s dark and pessimistic tale brings no closure to it, and no hope; one leaves the theater with a bitter sense of disappointment and cynical contempt for our political process. It is a tragedy where everyone loses, much like the tale of Julius Caesar that the title alludes to.
Mr. Smith, though, has a far different, more lasting, and more important tone. It depicts one decent and determined common man, surrounded by petty bunch of political thugs, who nonetheless makes a difference. This is not to say that its title character, Jefferson Smith, is alone in his feelings–the people support him, and there are even members of the Senate who likely support him as well, but are yet complicit with the villains through their silence. Smith still wins in the end, though.
Perhaps this is too idealistic. Perhaps the cynical transformation of Gosling’s Stephen Myers is closer to the real thing than the determined support for lost causes exhibited by Stewart’s Smith. If that is the case, though, then the fault is not with our system of government, but with us. We are the government.
Many Americans over the past few years seem to see our country through the same jaded vision of The Ides of March, and are tired of it. Perhaps, then, now is the perfect time to revisit the 1939 classic, which came out just in time for Nazis, Soviets, and Fascists to all ban it for its dangerous idea. When Hitler banned American movies in France, one Parisian theater played Mr. Smith nonstop for the month leading up to the ban. Tyrants are threatened by the idea that individuals have power; mortified by the possibility that one single person has the power to change the world. The reason they fear this is because it is true: good men, armed by the truth and common decency, can do more to change the world than all the armies and propaganda of tyranny and corruption in the world combined. It just takes hard determination in face of the harshest adversity.
Posted in Books, That's Life, tagged Books, Christianity, Christians, citizenship, culture wars, faith, government, history, human dignity, politics, society, worldviews on June 9, 2011| Leave a Comment »
Michael Gerson and Peter Wehner were on this morning’s Focus on the Family broadcast discussing how Christians can and should engage today’s culture. Much of the discussion was tied to material covered in their book: City of Man: Religion and Politics in the New Era.
The discussion was worthwhile, and the book sounds like it might be a good one to read.
If nothing else, listen to this 10:16 bonus audio on Early Christian Response to Government. There is much we can learn from people who offered hope during times of severe persecution.
I hadn’t heard about the film Agenda: Grinding America Down, until today. My internet connection is bad today, so I could only make it through part of the trailer, but what I saw looked promising. Here is the recommended reading list to go along with the documentary.
Agenda won the Best of Festival Jubilee award in 2010 from the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival. Press release here. Hmmm. “The 92-minute film was produced and directed by former Idaho legislator Curtis Bowers.” Somebody from my part of the world… And somebody who has seen government from the inside… Interesting.
hat tip: Franklin Springs blog