20 August 2008

open letters

Here. Read this. Doesn't it just make beautiful, almost poetic sense? Couldn't they, almost singlehandedly, save the world?

Now, my response:

Hi, Mike -

So, I'm a longtime fan (insofar as a 24-year-old fellow could have been a longtime fan of yours - for what it's worth, I'm recently no longer a film student, and I think your progression as a filmmaker from movie to movie has been nothing short of remarkable. I'm legitimately looking forward to your next movie because it's a Michael Moore movie, and not just because I hate the corporate-industrial complex, too), but this is the first time I've ever written you.

My mother just emailed me the link to your letter to Caroline, and I'm actually kind of choked up. I think that's always been your greatest virtue, not just as a public person, but as a person, that you tend to wear your heart on your sleeve, and man, is it ever on display here. I never would've thought of Caroline Kennedy as Barack's running mate, but you lay out a compelling case. What better way for the 21st century Kennedy to take his turn holding the reins of power than with an original Kennedy by his side? What better way to remind the world of everything that used to be good about America as a country, or as a people? Plus, you know, I like her as a person, so that's a serious plus. Between Caroline and Michelle, Barack'd have two extraordinary women keeping him on track, and anybody that watched The West Wing knows that it was as much Dolores Landingham (and, later, Debbie Fitterer) that kept Jed Bartlet on his A-game as it was Abby (not to demote VP Caroline Kennedy to the level of executive secretary - I'm just saying that he had two strong, constant female presences in his life. And that's not even counting his daughters, or Nancy McNally, or C.J., or Donna...).

I'm sorry for that. Years have gone by, and I find myself still obsessed with the show. Probably because the fantasy far outstrips the reality we're faced with.

And that's where we come to my problem. You've presented us with a great option, and one that, likely, will never be taken. All I'm going to be left with now is the "what if?" question, and I hate those questions. Your fantasy (now mine, I suppose) will best reality to an extraordinary degree. The debates between Caroline and... whoever the Republicans come up with (please be Joltin' Joe Lieberman - they'd have the most obnoxious ticket in recent memory, that way) would be a thing of beauty, perhaps surpassing that between Barack and McCain. No country in the world would be able to effectively marginalize women ever again, not after the twin shining lights America could put front and center on the global stage. Anyone that could summon the audacity to demean women as less than men would be stunned into silence when face-to-face with Caroline and Michelle.

Your proposal, Mike, it appeals to the best in each and every one of us; it would tell the world that we really are a new America, a better America, the America we've always strived to be. To me, what's heartbreaking about that is that it won't happen. Aaron Sorkin doesn't write real life, much though I might prefer the contrary.

Thank you, sir. You've glued together my long-dashed hopes once again.


Phil Wrede

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