So, things are looking a little dark right now.
It’s not much of an exaggeration to say that much of our democracy will be tested to its limits over the next four years. We’ll find out how much of our government we’ve taken for granted in its sudden absence. The difference between “norms” and “laws” is pointed out on a daily basis as the spirit of the law is overtaken by its letter. In the vacuum of a functioning democracy, you may be asking, what comes next? How can we rebuild? What should we be rebuilding in the first place?
Fortunately, for a model of a functioning, high-minded, idealistic and pragmatic government, one must look no further than a certain long-running TV show from the 90’s.
There are about 197 weeks until the 2020 election, which is almost exactly enough time to watch one of West Wing’s 156 episodes per week. For the next four years, we’ll be recapping each episode, as well as pulling out one issue to analyze and compare progress since the show first aired. We might add some additional posts, links, or editorials, but the heart of this blog is Bartlet’s America.
Hopefully we’ll be able to show some progress – from the first episode alone, we can see how far we’ve come on relations with Cuba. But more importantly, we want to lay out a view of government run by those who believe in it, those who want to make a difference, those driven by ideals to take real action. Democracy is still important. Government still matters. Because no matter how long these four years may seem, this isn’t the end.
As Bartlet would say: