succumbing to peer pressure

Sunday, October 10, 2004

The interesting thing about watching or reading Primary Colors now, with four years' distance from Clinton's administration, is that it stops being about a thinly veiled caricature of Clinton and starts being about Henry. The narrator about whom the story is structured in the first place. Henry is like any of us who are passionate about and disillusioned by politics at the same time. He's the kind of person who knows how the political game works, but wants to change it anyway. He wants to believe that a good man could become president. But he's forced to choose someone who is human and fallible and plays the game, but insists that once he gets there, he'll use his power 'for good.' The story talks about how principled and naive we are at my age, and then argues about whether or not you have to lose that as you grow up. And whether or not you can succeed while hanging on to that. I think once you get over the whole, hey, it's all about Clinton, thing, it becomes a really interesting take on the internal struggle a lot of us have about politics and politicians.


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