I don’t know much about what goes on within the walls of the White House and its various and storied rooms where people meet over this matter or that, and I don’t know much about what goes on between elected officials when they are not on camera.
But I sure do speculate.
While I always want to believe the best, the best rarely seems to be a thing that, politicians as a whole, have at the forefront of their various agendas.
And corruption within the ranks is not something new, but is as old as man.
I have recently been drawn in by the Netflix series “House of Cards.”
It’s a political show centered on a ruthless couple, played by Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, who stop at nothing to see to the fruition of what they seek. But despite all this, you just can’t not like them.
Maybe it’s because, as with scripted shows, the viewer gets to see the vulnerable times of the prominent not-so-good guys and that not only humanizes them, but allows a connection that, in turn, allows for sympathy to creep in.
But it’s not just those two lead characters that invite one to question political ethics. The ability to make selfish deals behind closed doors seems to run with every character that occupies congress in the show. All except for the president, and his character was honest. And do you know what happened to that one honest person?
At the end of the second season (spoiler alert), he resigns the presidency because he feels he has failed, when really what he did was move precisely and unknowingly to the choreographed tune laid down by his vice president, the show’s main character, played by Spacey.
No matter how fantastical the plot lines of the series may seem, I can’t help but wonder what truths may lie there.
In the show’s opening credits, when the title appears on the last shot, there is an upside-down American flag, which is a signal for distress.
Perhaps it’s meant to just be a show, for entertainment purposes only.
Perhaps a goal of the creators is to get viewers to not swallow without question whatever they are told.
I don’t know.
It is entertaining. And it does make you think.
With the Netflix series, the whole season is available at one time. You don’t have to hang on until next week to find out what happens. So, I devoured the second season of “House of Cards,” which was released on Feb. 14, in no time.
But a couple weeks ago, I watched the sometimes brutal, but thoroughly idealistic “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” with James Stewart as Jefferson Smith. Mr. Smith is someone chosen to fill a senate seat by a back-handed, controlling mongrel of a man, the epitome of political corruption, because he thought Mr. Smith would be easy to control.
What the bad guy(s) didn’t count on was Mr. Smith’s idealistic patriotism and resolve winning out. But in the end, it did.
That film was made in 1939.
And I am sure the thought of that sort of political contrivance and control was not new nearly a century ago.
It’s always been there.
Whenever there is power involved, you can bet there are shady characters creating shady deals with not a single thought to those who the government is meant to serve.
So whatever your beliefs, or your level of trust, just do yourself and your country a favor. Don’t take everything at face value, investigate and learn, don’t get caught up in the rhetoric, stay educated on what is going on, and don’t let a bad few ruin your perception of everyone, because I am completely certain that there are plenty of elected folks out there who are honest to their core and think of themselves as the conduit of their constituents.
Just remember it’s our government. If there is someone in an office that needs to go, it’s in our power to make that happen. We put them there, and we’ll put the next one there, too.
Despite the rampant distrust, I still possess quite an idealistic view of how our political system is meant to work. And the best way for the American people to maintain control is to stay educated, question everything, and remember that we all have a voice and – when enough of us speak up – that voice can outdo even the money.
Angela Shepherd can be reached at 937-393-3456 or on Twitter @ashepherdHTG.