My Daddies have been watching "The West Wing" on DVD. They have just got to the end of the third season and are going to start on the fourth after that.
I do not think that the third season was anywhere as good as the first two – which Daddies galloped through at two or even three episodes a night – probably because much less seems to happen. The main bits of story about assassinating the Middle East terrorist and CJ being stalked and the campaign against Governor Ritchie (aka Monkey) do not even start until the last few episodes! These episodes are very cracking, but it does seem to have been a long time coming.
Anyway, the thing that this made me think was about the very positive way that Americans see themselves. They may make some VERY silly decisions sometimes, but whatever it is, at least they will stand up and CHEER and really go for it ALL TOGETHER!
"Let's go to the moon!"
Wooosh, off they go!
"Let's flatten Iraq!"
Kaboom, see them do it. Hooray!
Watching "The West Wing" and seeing Mr Martin playing President Bartlett stand up and say something wise and inspired and true or even watching that daft Monkey who is REALLY the President say something, at least they can SAY things like that and get all the people behind them.
It is both CREDIBLE and INCREDIBLE the way that the President of America can stand up and say "Let's go to the moon!"
It is TRAGIC that the most exciting thing that the President of Europe could say would be "Please don't vote against the Constitution again, thank you!"
It's just not good enough to moan and say "but we're not 'Europeans' we're all different peoples". That's defeatist and backwards and it's what makes us all fall apart instead of all pull together. It is WHY we hand everything to the Americans.
We need to stop being so PAROCHIAL: self-interested and self-centred. We need to find the oomph to go out there and STRIVE for something. We need to find the self confidence so that we COULD say: "Let's go to them moon"
No, why stop at the moon – let's go to the STARS.