In a venture that could have had enormous potential to educate and heal, and a fortuitous forum of value (HBO and the Real Time with Bill Maher Show) to reach millions of viewers, Alexandra Pelosi (yes she’s the daughter of former Speaker of the US House of Representatives) instead created a documentary that interviews the worst examples and extreme minorities of both the Republican and Democratic Parties.
In a worthless effort with not even much entertainment value and a perplexing waste of resources, the self described “documentary filmmaker” shot footage of Republican radicals from the deep rural South of Mississippi who “vote God first”, have no teeth, can barely speak English and are overtly racist. In other words, blatantly poor uneducated folk with low intelligence who just happen to vote Republican. All joking aside, clearly Avery small minority of that political party.
Even less effort went into her attempt at revealing what the Democratic side of American politics looks like. She simply walked down the stairs of her New York apartment building and captured interview footage of a line of uneducated black men waiting to enter the food stamp and welfare office, all of whom claimed to not be interested in getting jobs, barely had any teeth, held a strong desire to suck up as much free money from the Federal government as possible, and all conveniently stated they are going to vote for Obama.
If Pelosi was trying to prove a point, other than how important it is not to allow wealthy politicians’ children to play with cameras, it got lost in her filmmaking process. Every intelligent person in the United States of America knows that all political parties of the world have small minority groups of uneducated crazies in them. It’s a free country here in the US and that just comes with our inclusionary territory.
We all know there are idiots and racists in the US who might not vote for Barack Obama simply because he’s racially half black or they’re so dumb that they think he’s Muslim (as if that in and of itself mattered either). Just as we all know that there is a small minority of people for whatever reason who don’t feel any compunction admitting that they take advantage of America’s generous welfare policies. But we also know that these groups do not make up the majority of either political party. In fact they don’t make up the majority of anything. They’re fringe elements of a large and varied global melting pot society. We also know for example that there are plenty of people in America who genuinely need welfare and/or foodstamps right now. And it’s not because they’re black or lazy or wanting to take advantage of anyone. Times are just tough.
Reinforcing already established but generally understood stereotypes on the extreme of both sides of the fence accomplishes nothing but adding more fuel to an already nearly out of control partisan fire; one that enlightened folks across the board have been trying for years to extinguish with patience, education, open mindedness and tolerance. What excites and intrigues about a documentary like the idea of this one is the potential of listening to what the intelligent views of both sides are; and everything in between.
A film like that could potentially have a very educating and healing effect on our splintered social fabric. It’s something we desperately need in this divisive post-Bush/Cheney era when our worst fears like terrorist attacks are being over shadowed by graver concerns like how we are going to pay for our rent or mortgages next month or put food on our tables tomorrow. As long as cretins like Pelosi or opportunists like most politicians keep the populace focused on minor differences between us such as racist views or religious issues in politics, most people will never wake up to realize that the real ‘us versus them’ has a lot more to do with the 1% verus the 99% than it does birth control or food stamps.