I wish the “West Wing” would return. While yes I do wish that Jed Bartlet, Charlie, Toby, Josh & Donna, Sam and C.J. would return on screen as the characters running the White House. I long more for the spirit of democracy seen every week as people mostly did their best to serve their country. Winning some battles and losing others but never letting animosity overcome accomplishment and always putting the public ahead of the Party.
It’s amazing how prescient the writers were in addressing not only the issues that face every administration but in foreseeing those that didn’t exist in their time but we face head on today. Mitt Romney wasn’t the first politician to attack Big Bird and the Muppet’s, “West Wing” dealt with the issue in 1 Hour flat. If Mitt had watched he might have known better?
It was “West Wing” that taught me about secret holds, explained the filibuster, Posse Comitatus, showed us debates as we wish they were and gave me context for the Al Smith Dinner. It was “West Wing” that showed that both Parties could have caring, pragmatic leaders who gave their all in service to America. Yes we saw politicians that wanted desperately to win, but not at the cost of watching the economy languish or seeing people suffer in hopes of winning the next election cycle. It is that spirit which is sorely missing today that makes me long for “West Wing” to return, or a reasonable facsimile thereof.
Since the show left the air, we’ve seen a polarization at levels unseen before. The blame can be spread between the political parties, the media and the populace as well. Both Republicans and Democrats have rewarded those at the extremes of their ideology with little room for moderates to survive. The media reflects this; the network that claims to be fair and balanced is neither and it has competition at the opposite end of the spectrum. The populace to an incredible degree had chosen not to become and stay informed but to repeat the mantra of their party with little consideration of truth or merit. We simply deserve better.
When “West Wing” first aired, I was slow to catch on and didn’t discover it until it was in re-runs. I was somewhat fortunate in that I was able to catch several new episodes a week and 7 seasons took less than a year to review. As the Fiscal Cliff looms and a new Mideast War looms large. I’m hoping to see a little more of the spirit of cooperation that “West Wing” epitomized and is lacking today.