In an election year where both major presidential candidates seem to
Gush and Bore each other — and us — to death, “West Wing,” that
acclaimed issue-oriented dramatic TV series about “a president who
believes in doing what’s right,” just won a record nine Emmy awards,
which could, or should, tell us something about what’s on
America’s mind …

Ralph Nader?

“West Wing’s” nine Emmys smashed the previous record of eight in a single season set by ”Hill Street Blues” and ”ER,” and dispatched “The Sopranos,” as they say, to sleep with the fishes.

While it’s always interesting to speculate how the media impacts the political culture, “West Wing’s” cast has shot locations in D.C., hobnobbed with their White House

and actually helped “Rock the Vote”

register new voters.

Characterized by TV Guide as “a combination of soap opera and civics lesson,” and by grumpy naysayers as “liberal pornography,” the show makes its second-season debut in early October. Its consultants include pollster Pat Caddell and D.C. insider Dee Dee Myers.

Notably, activist actor Martin Sheen’s gruff, thundering, authoritative rendition of President Josiah Bartlet — simultaneously warm, fuzzy, yet occasionally hawkish — seems more than skin deep: “George W. Bush is a wimp! J—-, man, gimme a break. This is a spoiled-rotten kid who doesn’t have a clue — who doesn’t have a heart! He’s a very dangerous man. He makes his father look like a raving liberal!”

We are faced with a national election where the American public yearns, in a simple and heartfelt way, for a good president. A national election where the alternative candidates may offer more substance than those of the major political parties. And yet, many of these outside candidates are untested as national leaders, political strategists, lawmakers, and diplomatic tacticians, which doesn’t inspire enough confidence from voters to give them their vote. If they decide to vote.

The Green Party candidate, that anti-corporate corporate millionaire Ralph Nader, is now seeking the marijuana vote in his bid to legalize what I’ve always considered the Laziness and Passivity Drug. Just what America needs to keep it competitive in the international marketplace.

My friend Ruby, an urban activist for Peoples National Democratic

Uhuru Movement,
has this to say about who would be a good candidate in the upcoming presidential election: “Here’s the short answer– the whole system is the problem so no matter who gets in as President they will perpetuate the systematic oppression of African and other colonized peoples.”

And so I plunder my personal mailbag for some clues to the real-life political drama America faces:

Via the Internet, a list sent to me no fewer than five times, most recently by a California screenwriter: The state of Texas, while under the leadership of

Gov. George W.

  • 50th in spending for teachers’ salaries

  • 49th in spending on the environment

  • 48th in per capita funding for public health

  • 47th in the delivery of social services

  • 42nd in amount of child support collections

  • 41st in per capita spending on public education

  • 1st in air and water pollution

  • 5th in percent of population living in poverty

  • 1st in executions (avg. one every two weeks for Bush’s five years)

  • 1st in percent of poor working parents without insurance

  • 1st in percent of children without health insurance

The last person to send my the list added this note: “Just think what he could do for the country if he were president. … Pass this on to 10 people or our nation will have bad luck for the next four years.”

From WND reader Todd Dierdorff via the Internet: “You may not like George W., but

is an active participant in the most evil, criminal, corrupt and amoral administration this country has ever had. He was part and parcel of the selling out of U.S. national security interests for the sake of Chinese communist campaign contributions. He called a sexual predator/rapist/serial adulterer/draft dodger one of this country’s greatest presidents. He is a slumlord and has a toxic waste site on his property. He is an inveterate liar, on a scale equal to Bill Clinton. He is an incredible hypocrite, condemning tobacco companies even as he grows tobacco and takes campaign contributions from those same companies. He condemns pharmaceutical companies even as he takes campaign contributions. He sucks up to racists like Al Sharpton, and doesn’t rebuke people like Jesse Jackson for questioning the loyalty of his own pick for VP. He lied about his military service, about Love Canal, about putting people in jail as a journalist, etc., etc. The list is endless. He deserves to go to jail, for a long time. You may not like Dubya, but he won’t sell our country out for a ‘mess of pottage’ (campaign donations).”

From WND reader RodgerDodger via the Internet: “I don’t know whether Bush will be any different, but don’t look now we already have the biggest fascist leader already in the White House and Al Gore (just listen to his speeches) would certainly be more of the same, for heaven’s sake. They wouldn’t dare call it that, but when the government tells business what to do or coerces (blackmail, as in the tobacco case or gun manufacturers) them into doing things their way, then what you have is fascism.”

From WND reader Bob Wilcox, via the Internet: “Ignore the protests from readers demanding only ‘right-wing Conservative’ views in WorldNetDaily. Intelligent readers seek TRUTH, not polarized, slanted viewpoints — right or left wing. Three cheers for dispelling the naiveté and ignorance of those who can’t or won’t see that there is as much corruption in the Republican leadership as there is in the Democrat leadership. They should read ‘Sellout’ by David Schippers and wake up. Bush and Gore both stink of lies, fraud, and corruption.”

Yes they do. And now what?

The machinery of governance is in place regardless of who wins. If Hollywood filmmaker Andrew Nicol, the writer-director who created “The Truman Show,” has decided to cast a computer-generated leading lady as Al Pacino’s co-star for his next film, after failing to find a real female-type person to play the title role, perhaps the time has come to create computer-generated presidential candidates embodying Jeffersonian ideals. A fully digital, “automated,” virtual president.

The process would essentially “invent” life-like legislative characters using actors wearing motion-capture suits, recording their computerized movements on a digital stage while interacting with props, against a variety of sets and backdrops, similar to the Net’s cyber-news-chick


Remember, as Hollywood goes, so goes the nation.

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