Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Star Wars III and Tennessee

In a rare incidence of conformity, I finally got around to seeing George Lucas' final Star Wars film, and it was a decent effort. The writing was definitely poor, and some parts were just plain cheesy (Darth Vader's "NOOOOOOO!" after he takes his first steps in his new semi-mechanical body was almost bad parody). However, I have to rate this as the best Star Wars film since "The Empire Strikes Back." Yes, the oration was a train wreck, but the film held my attention and proved to be interesting. Still, it wasn't the best film I have seen this year at the theatre, behind "Sin City" and "Phantom of the Opera." (FYI: I received a good report last night on "The Longest Yard" from my old classmate Ryan Holloway. That is contrary to ESPN The Magazine's Bill Simmons, who hated it.)

Throughout the film, several things struck me as being similar to Tennessee politics (which probably suggests that I need to get out more and think less about politics). First, there was a powerful politician who turned out to be a Sith Lord, secretly plotting to bring down the institution of which he was a member in his pursuit of power.

That sounds eerily similar to several current Tennessee politicians who, over the past couple of weeks, have made statements that show abuse of power, the thirst for dictatorship, alignment with many whom would be political enemies, and disregard for the rule of law, such as those below:

Second, and most importantly, the manner in which Anaken was turned from the Jedi, who were intent on doing selfless acts in order to fulfill their duties, to the Sith, who only desired personal power and were willing to compromise everything and everyone for their goal, struck a chord. In particular, I was reminded of a story of one young Knoxville professional. This particular person is not a politician or political insider and ordinarily would care less who wins the 2006 Senate race, but he has already given a chunk of money to Bob Corker's campaign because, much like Anaken, he believes that Corker, the Haslam's, and their ilk will personally bestow benefits upon him if Corker were to win. It doesn't matter what Corker's ideology is - in fact, it doesn't appear that this particular person even knows that Corker has a history of raising taxes or that he regurgitates Planned Parenthood's talking points when asked about abortion. However, he sees what Corker and Haslam could do for him if they win, and that is all that matters.

Although it's probably not a nice thing to say, this type of behavior is like the Sith in the Star Wars movies. It's cold, calculating, and only aimed at personal benefit. It's not ideologically driven or issue based. It's based on greed, and it's the depressing side of politics, the side that makes me (and, I suspect, most Americans) ill.

I can respect people on the other side; as I have said on this site before, a few of my good friends are Democrats or support other candidates. The reason that I can respect them, though, is that they are fighting for what they believe, in many cases resulting in hardships and sacrifice. I can respect that. However, I can't respect someone who plays the game only for himself. Perhaps that makes me a weakened politician. Perhaps that makes me naive. One thing is for certain - I will cling fast to my principles. I will not - like Anaken and other real people here in Tennessee - turn to the Dark Side to help my own cause. I certainly hope that most of you will do the same.

Nice post. It just goes to show we should never "vote with our pocket book." If more conservative Republicans voted their conscience, rather than their financial interests, we'd have a lot less RINOs and a stronger more principled government.
You're right. You do need to get out more.
I have found that most of the politically active people have a personal interest in politice rather than a patriotic interest. This is the prescription for losing our republic. I am almost to the point of pulling back my skills from politics and using them for my benefit.

Sunny Day
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