Winging it

I love West Wing. I was late to the party, but started watching mid-series, got all the seasons on DVD and can now recite chunks of dialogue perfectly. There are a number of us aficionados among my family and friends. I just got home from a mini-marathon at Carolyn’s where we knit, chatted and watched 3 or 4 episodes.

I keep thinking the real world should work this way. Then, I think, well maybe it does… or soon will. I’m sure it’s naive to think President Obama is really Jed Bartlet in disguise. Most of the years I’ve watched the series were Bush years…. and so the contrast between the imagined world of politics and the real one was exceptionally painful.

At least now I have a modicum of hope. Maybe we really will manage to raise the level of political discourse in this country. Maybe we’ll talk more in the public forums about ideas rather than ideologies, about complexity and nuance instead of the simplistic extremes we’ve collectively embraced for the last dozen or so years.

A friend of mine at work was speaking today about five sets of moral concepts that liberal and conservative perceive from differing viewpoints. I don’t have a cite, but I plan to find out more because it caught at something in me — a way of approaching the chasms between us in a thoughtful and perhaps even an insightful way.

And wouldn’t that be better than TV.

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