Excalibur was on a movie channel the other night. I watched; couldn’t help it. The 1981 John Boorman classic is a rousing retelling of the King Arthur legend and as visually stunning as any current, computer programmed blockbuster.
If you can get past the unintentional Monty Python moments that appear in dialogue and character portrayal, you will enjoy the tale, especially if you are a sucker for the medieval period, as I am.
One of my favorite moments happens after Perceval finds the Holy Grail and takes it back to King Arthur, who then comes out of his stupor and leads his army out to fight Mordrid. The army gallops through the dying countryside, brilliant in shining silver armor, while the dead trees and flowers instantly come alive, turning green and blooming into various floral shades. A visual testament to hope.
As I watched, I thought about presidential politics of all things, and how so many Americans pin future hope on who gets elected Chief Executive. We think our president can do wonderful things if he is the man deserving of our vote. As the last four years has proven if we didn’t vote for a particular president, we consider him capable of horrible and insidious things; a heinous super-villain who can destroy America as we know it.
A little civics lesson: Every law currently in place in the thick federal rulebook was passed by Congress; Every One. Currently, Congress is in gridlock while the middle class is slowly eroding as the increase in net worth of the One Percent simultaneously rises.
73 laws have been written, championed, and eventually passed thanks to the support and vote of people who directly benefited from them since 2009. Imagine how many more from earlier sessions are on the books.
The number of former Congressmen who are in the employ of defense contractors, insurance companies, and financial giants; either as consultants or lobbyists is embarrassing, yet we elect the same cast each time we get an opportunity. We’d rather focus on the Most Powerful Man in the World.
Presidents appoint Supreme Court Justices, meet with world leaders, hold lavish state dinners and give really cool speeches that inspire young people to become president or ticks off every opposing demographic. They don’t do much else.
No president, not even a black Kenyan with terrorist ties and socialist beliefs, can single-handedly destroy America. No president can confiscate all the guns of freedom loving Regular Americans. No president can enact laws to turn the country into a panty waist, small business hating hippie commune. And no president can take all the Defense Department’s hard earned allotments and hand them over to crack smoking, lazy, poor people. It takes a lot of help for anyone to do any of those things.
Americans seem to still need a supreme leader to guide us toward the proper goal and make sure no harm comes to any of us, whether it is a king, lord, or savior. We still stop all activity and listen anytime something happens to England’s Royal Family; good or bad. And we will give up any and all semblance of personal freedom if a higher power deems it necessary.
So we wring our hands, argue over poll results, and demonize the people who disagree with us. On the first Wednesday in November we are either terrified for America’s future or smug because we chose correctly. Four years later it will begin again.
Nothing ever really changes.