I like "The West Wing". Really. Some episodes are not to my interest (eg. the "lame duck" episode recently), but overall it is well written and soundly cast. "President" Bartlet is a great guy, as POTUS's go. But with about 30% voter turnout in the recent election for a REAL president, it kind of worries me. I can't form a cogent, defendable-in-a-debate argument for why it worries me, but it seems that the success of a heart-warming fiction about a truly well-meaning and honest Executive is part of the general cynicism, disaffection, and lack of trust in ANY (real) political leaders that is so prevalent now.

There's a good reason for this. With every President of the last century (D. or R.) approving violent military action against such dire threats to US soil as Nicaragua and Granada, and the continued war against the poor occurring in the so-called "developed" world, how can we believe that the "little people" matter at all? Here in Canada, we just re-elected a (clumsily) corrupt tool of big business simply because he was less scary than the poorly-disguised Christian fundamentalist who was the second-runner!

So we shake our heads, think "Aw, fuck it!", and turn on the TV. Hey, it's Wednesday night! West Wing is on! Gosh, they're such good people.

Addendum: I recently read that Prime Minister Jean Chretien (the aforementioned clumsily corrupt tool of big business) is a big fan of The West Wing, and had arranged to visit the set. At first I found this weird, but on the other hand, he has Dubya to deal with in real life!