I don’t usually get political in this blog, but I know who I want to win the U.S. election tomorrow: Matt Santos. Yeah, he was a fictional character in The West Wing – which I’ve been binge-watching on Netflix during this election period. But he’s the kind of president that we need: kind, honest, compassionate and smart. And yes, he would be the first Latino president.
I’m not quite through the seventh and final season, so no spoiler alerts, please. But I’m completely blown away by creator Aaron Sorkin’s prescience to write a TV series that ended more than a decade ago but is completely relevant to this year’s presidential election.
Democratic candidate Matt Santos (played by Jimmy Smits) and Arnie Vinnick (Alan Alda) try to maintain a high road in the campaign, but can’t quite make it. A vice president is sidelined by a sex scandal.
The presidential debate highlights immigration and the Mexican border, national security and nuclear acceleration of China and Iran, abortion, and how the new president will choose Supreme Court justices. There is denial of global warming and conflicting plans to address the country’s dependence on foreign oil. A Republican majority in the Senate is nixing every piece of legislation that the Democratic president (Martin Sheen) wants to pass. The upcoming election is too close to call. Each candidate’s spin team is frantically trying to work the electoral vote state by state. Nail biting is rampant.
The mood is somber among American expats here in Oaxaca: it looks like it’s going to get ugly no matter who wins tomorrow. There will be an election-watching gathering (I don’t think party is the right word) at one of the local bars in the zocalo that usually puts soccer games up on its giant screen TV. I won’t be among them, as I’m just going to join a close friend to watch the news together in shared concern. I don’t really want to be in a sports bar, but I don’t want to be alone either.
I just wish that we had the real example of the fictional president Matt Santos, with his wise vice president Leo McGarry (John Spencer), ready to take the reins tomorrow. That would be something to celebrate.
— Susan Bean Aycock, embracingthechaos.org