Saturday, February 04, 2012

The Upside Of Downton Abby

Like thousands of others, I've become hooked on the PBS series that takes place during the Edwardian era preceding and during World War I.  It is a soap to be sure, full of intrigue, risque relationships, marriages of convenience, ambition and betrayal.  Not unlike modern day life.

What they had then that is no longer the case is a sense of place.  You know, a place for everything and everything in its place.  With the war we witness the beginning of the end of that sense of place.  Aristocratic young ladies fall for the help  and vice versa, the help dares to question authority, ambitions are not only voiced but acted upon.

The aristocracy is struggling to remain relevant as old soldiers are put again into uniform as a morale booster rather than to fight.  The women left behind find strength within themselves they never knew they had nor thought they could put to practice no matter if they were the aristocrats or the under class. Society is changing dramatically.  It will never again be quite the same and if you don't go with the tide you'll end up being beached.

It reminds me of what is going on today in our political process, especially with the likes of Mr. Romney who can't seem to find his footing.  He was raised in a different time in a class that was segregated from the public as a whole and follows a faith which has values reflecting that time far more so than those of today.  A better time really, because there were values and they were adhered to.

Mr. Gore and Mr. Kerry had the same problem.  Though they tried to be one of us, they weren't.  Though Kerry married into wealth and embraced it wholeheartedly, Gore and Romney grew up with it along with the freedoms and the constraints it provided.  It's who they are.  Just like the old aristocracy.  They could no more fit in with the common man than these men of today.

My thought is they shouldn't try.  I don't particularly want a person in the Presidency because he's like me.  What a disaster in the making!  I haven't the intellect, the experience nor the chutzpa to pull it off! I could care less whether or not we ever share a beer. I don't necessarily want a person as President who is all personality either.  Too many of them are trying to be what they are not and doing a mighty poor job of it.

Mr. Romney is who he is. As James Carville said, he comes across as a detached dofus.  Indeed he does.  But that's his personality and the more he tries to be something other than that the more he falls prey to it. He needs to go for thought out substance and leave the personality to those who have one.  Enough of them have little substance.

Just like Downton Abby, the residents are caught up in the times.  They've already had to suffer through marrying American women in order to fund their vast land holdings.  As the under class gets bolder, however, I hope they cling to their own standards of being as to dress and manner and respect for the order under which they flourish.  They have their own aristocracy if you will.  If they abandon that to the lowest possible denominator they'll end up with the body pierced, tattooed, ball capped, muscle shirted society who swaggers around today thinking they've flummoxed the elitists and are winning the class war.

My generation worries they may have.  If so they will get the country they deserve.  It takes only so long for when we who are fading away become the exception rather than the rule.  Becoming the norm is next.

So to those like Mr. Romney.  Don't  try to be 'ordinary'.  Be yourself, tout the successes you've earned by using your own abilities.  Be proud.  And as John Wayne would say, "Never apologize.  It's a sign of weakness."

Hear that Mr. President?


Anonymous said...

Good morning : )

Nothing enhances a great cup of coffee like some good reading to start one's day...

Given the enlightenment of your post, Mari, I can now place that nagging feeling I've had all along about Romney(it essentially comes down to something wasn't genuine in his delivery). Mr. Romney may wish to heed your wisdom/good advice. You and Shakespeare (To Thy Own Self Be True) make pefect sense. Keep these interesting post coming.

Uncle Ron said...

I can't agree with you more Al...Mari's insight into today's host of candidates seems to be right on...
Indeed...keep these posts coming...