We’ve been watching the Netflix series House of Cards. Actors Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright do a masterful job of portraying a husband and wife with their eyes on the White House. They are power hungry and driven people who will do anything to realize their ambitions. It’s no wonder the public is disillusioned with the political process if they get their ideas about what politicians are like from television programs like House of Cards.
According to this show politics is a complicated corrupt game used to acheive personal and career goals. The House of Cards storyline includes a young woman who is in Washington to lobby for clean water for developing countries but even she isn’t beneath lying to get the funding she needs and using the birth of her child as a ploy to achieve her seemingly worthwhile objectives. And there is no sync between the lofty ideals the politicians in the show espouse and their own personal lives. They cheat on their spouses, misuse drugs and alcohol, lie, even commit murder.
I much preferred the old series West Wing which also centered on the White House but gave us a much more idealized and hopeful vision of politics in Washington.
Recently I was chatting with an acquaintance about a provincial politician I admire for his determination, hopeful vision and dedication. The acquaintance happened to know the legislator personally and started to talk about the politician’s drive to succeed and the fact that he tends to use people to acheive his ends and then discard them. I quickly changed the topic. I didn’t want to know about the dark side of yet another politican.
Perhaps House of Cards gives a realistic look at politics. I’d like to be more hopeful.
Other posts to read…….