Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Greg Stillson For President

I Saw The News Today Oh Boy

   Sen. Ted Cruz; June 6, 2014  (Photo: Texas Tribune / Bob Daemmrich)

Martin Sheen As Greg Stillson In The Film Adaptation Of King's The Dead Zone (1983)

We've all seen the news.  Yesterday, Senator Ted Cruz of Canada the Soverign Nation Republic State of Texas announced that he was running for the Republican party's nomination as its candidate for President in the 2016 election. He said many things, and repeated the word "imagine" many times.

As I watched him speaking in a number of film clips on mainstream news, I was suddenly reminded of a character in contemporary writing and film -- Greg Stillson, in Stephen King's The Dead Zone.  If you've seen the 1983 film (possibly the best screen adaptation of any of King's books), then you've seen Martin Sheen playing the role of a local politician in Maine, a Huey Long-style populist who runs for Senator -- very much what would pass for a Tea Partei candidate today.

Stillson says he believes in America, and Values -- oh, and the truth, so long as he agreed with it. And, outwardly a confident and canny politician, King's character was written as an evangelical, too -- and very much convinced that it was his destiny to become President and Do God's Will (well; the will of somebody's god, anyway).

But the truth was that inwardly, Stillson was altogether not all he seemed -- and whatever it was people were voting for when they looked at him, what they got was very different.
Stillson is introduced in the novel at the beginning of the book as a struggling traveling salesman for a Bible-printing company ... During a stop at a house in rural Iowa, Stillson is attacked by the absent homeowners' dog and, enraged, sprays ammonia in the animal's eyes before beating it to death. As he drives away, Stillson comes to the realization that he is destined for greatness. (Stephen King Wiki)  
It is possible the truth is, in the long, oily wake of the Scalia Court's decision in Citizens United, that America's elections are now the property of people like the Koch brothers, Addled Sheldon, and Little Rupert? Just another thing to be purchased. Because they can. Because Freedom.

But, maybe not. Maybe that's not the truth. Maybe elections might be the last place where, when casting a vote, we are in fact all equal and anything is possible. The truth? We have a moral obligation to work against ignorance and malevolence, or we will get the leaders we deserve.

The truth, too, is that King's novel and the film it's based on are just that -- fiction. In the real world, people like the Senator from Canada Texas are all too present a reality, and using the political process (such as it is) we should work pretty damn hard to ensure he or anyone like him, if they receive the nomination of any party, will be defeated at the polls.

 I'd suggest going here and adding your name, and even spending a few dollars. And yes, this will be on the final.