Sunday, June 19, 2016


Garry Willis in “The Kennedy Imprisonment” compares the president to a gunslinger in a western movie. The town (country) faces problems too great for the old sheriff. A gunslinger (Clint Eastwood or John Wayne) is brought to town to deal with the problems. He moves on after a period of time. Then new problems arise and a new gunslinger comes to town.

I wondered what other plot types could be applied to American politics

The problem with this one is that the gunslinger in the movie solves problems and leaves a town of happy people. Presidents seldom leave the voters happy.

Since Ronald Reagan, we have not been looking for solutions. We cling to old solutions like “trickle down economy” even knowing that didn’t work.

The Koch Brothers are the problem gunslingers who will not leave.

The other problem is that our presidents sometimes create problems; they don’t always solve problems.

The country has been paranoid about drugs and national security since Nixon. Were drugs really a problem great enough to declare war on them? We now have the largest prison population in the world. Are we still the land of the free? We have government spying on our people, listening to our cell phone conversations and reading our emails.

Barack Obama promised us single payer national health system. He did not deliver. The insurance companies are still in town and more powerful than ever.

Instead of a gunslinger, we need a school teacher to explain common decency and manners to Donald Trump and his followers.

Where the gunfighter image works is in the expectations of liberals. We liberals expected Bill Clinton and then Barack Obama to come to town and clean up the conservative mess. Then we put our hopes on Elizabeth Warren, but in 2016, she did not saddle up. Can Bernie Sanders save us? Is he the hero we have been waiting for?

Our western movie fails to end the way we want it to.

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