War Room and Today’s Politicians Comparison

War Room and Today’s Politicians

The War Room documentary exposes the absolutely cynical nature of modern day politics — though it is probably not much different than it has always been, if one thinks on Shakespeare’s treatment of the democratic process in Coriolanus. Nonetheless, the cloying nature of the politicians as they toss tidbits of information to their needy public (needy because they need to believe in the political process, in their candidate, in the thought that their vote matters and that they can make a difference) shows how divorced from reality the actual process is. For example, early in the documentary, Clinton is sitting on a couch at headquarters in t-shirt and shorts, a ball cap on his head. His eyes are tired, focused on the viewer, looking straight into the camera (but really past the camera as he mentally prepares for his phone interview). In his phone interview he talks about how much fun he had in high school and of his high school band, of which he still has a record. Phone interview ends. Clinton stands, relieved to be done “performing” and makes a joke about the journalist taking what he said out of context. Then he slaps his campaign manager on the back. Now it is down to business, as the group scrolls the headlines of the latest newspapers and discusses what to do next in order to “appeal” to the public. They are perfectly aware of the fact that it is all a charade — all a show. The voters in the scene prior don’t realize this — those anxious citizens who feel the need to be involved in the campaign process, to make the other candidate look bad, to go after him because they are tired of always being on the defensive when there is no reason to. “We don’t have to defend a damn thing!” says one angry supporter. “We’ve met him! We know him!” He is, of course, talking about Bill Clinton — but the Clinton he has met and the Clinton revealed off stage are two very different people. And that is what politics is. That anyone can take it seriously beyond the farcical show that it has devolved into is what still amazes.

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But opportunists abound and today’s political campaign is full of the same type. There is the average Joe citizen who thinks Trump talks tough and gets straight to the heart of the issues — immigration, jobs going overseas. That is the spectacle side of Trump — the appealing side. But who gets to see the other side — the real side? Is Trump really going to repeal NAFTA? Or get the U.S. out of the Middle East? One would have to be naive to think that the President has such power today. The deep state nature of the government, with all its myriad layers and levels of officialdom, from the military brass to the secret agencies to the mergers of business and state manifested in things like the military-industrial complex to the think-tanks and special interest groups like AIPAC — who can really believe that the farce that plays out onstage is anything but that — a farce? Yet, people put up signs in their yards nonetheless — showing their support for Bernie or Hillary or The Donald. One claims to be a “socialist” but would never cut military spending (Anselem). One is under investigation by the FBI — but why would that stop her from being elected (especially considering how much Big Money is behind her) (Durden). One has filed for bankruptcy and stiffed his creditors several times (but of course he is now known for being “good at business” — because that’s what he says about himself on TV, and TV doesn’t lie). Today’s War Rooms are no doubt exactly the same, and most likely worse, than that depicted in the 1992 documentary. The cynicism is palpable but what makes it all so sad is that people still have the need to believe that American politics is something they have a part in. If the past 15 years haven’t opened their eyes to the reality, one can well ask what will. The War Room did not confirm my worst fears — the history of the 20th century followed by 9/11 and the wars of Bush and Obama were enough to do that. But the documentary did show quite well how absurd the whole charade is.

Works Cited

Amselem, Yonathan. “The Problem with Bernie Sanders.” Mises Institute. 2015. Web.

17 Nov 2015.

Durdern, Tyler. “The FBI and DOJ Get Involved.” Zero Hedge. 2015. Web. 17 Nov

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