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Commander in Chief

Commander in Chief is a new tv show that’s come out with the US President being played by Geena Davis. That’s right, the US President is a woman.

I had the opportunity to watch the first 12 episodes of the first season over the past week. Yep, I enjoyed it enough to watch it to that length. What I learnt was fascinating.

  1. The office of the US Presidency is not an easy one. Sure, we all say we understand that, but without shows like West Wing (which I still haven’t seen a single episode of) or Commander in Chief, we have absolutely no idea how difficult being a President is. These shows give us a glimpse into that.
  2. I think the US public are being softened up for – and even testing the idea of – the US President being a woman. I understand that Hilary Clinton is planning on running for President in 2008, so this particular show is seeing what kind of public reaction there is likely to be to the President being a woman.

Lets go back to #1 up there, that talks about understanding a bit more about what the most important job in the world is about.

We spend a great deal of our time complaining about things we don’t like, things that we would want to be different. A great deal of our energy is spent on wanting our leaders to do exactly what we think is best. The only problem with this is that we don’t know what’s best for us.

We don’t have all the information about various factors of global politics. We don’t know that doing one thing will have potentially deadly repercussions in another part of the world. We don’t know that upsetting a diplomat over the colour of the tablecloth at an official function could cause the loss of thousands of jobs when that diplomat causes business interests to be ejected from his country.

There are so many things going on behind the scenes that we’ll never know about, and yet are extremely important to how the world moves along. It’s really quite foolish of us to think that we know all that there is to know, and to place our ignorant judgements on those in positions of power, who usually try to do the best they can under circumstances we can never know about.

I still don’t like George Bush. I think he’s an absolute idiot. However, I have to acknowledge that he’s a person, just like the rest of us, in the most difficult position in the world. We don’t know what kind of secret backroom deals are going on in America’s favour. We don’t know what kind of pressures there are for him to do this, that and the other. Out of an infinite possibility of choices available to him – which we’ll never know of either – he can only choose one at a time. Like him, we can only hope that the choices are the right ones for the right occasion.

I’ll still feel outrage in the future, but shows like Commander in Chief help me to understand and remember what I already knew. Never judge another man until you walk a mile in his shoes.

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