Ken Burns, the highly respected documentary filmmaker, came out with an editorial endorsement of President Obama in a New Hampshire newspaper. You have to read the comments to get the best picture of what he said, but here is a portion of his thinking:
In this alternative vision, the town’s plutocratic banker, Mr. Potter — without the decent George Bailey to counter him — rules everything. A bottom-line-is-everything, every-man-for-himself mentality runs unchecked, resulting in Bedford Falls’ metamorphosis into “Pottersville,” an amoral, soulless place.
He is comparing Romney to Mr. Potter in the Jimmy Stewart film; “It’s a Wonderful Life”.
I have never been able to locate it, and some day I need to diligently find it again, but I am reminded of a quote from Paul Johnson’s history of the United States (my copy left in Zambia) in which he attributes to George Washington an understanding of human direction linked to self-interest. Nothing bad about it, just something that will help you understand where people are coming from.
Which brings us back to Ken Burns. He wasn’t able to honestly tell us that he, along with Big Bird, depends upon government support of PBS to finance and distribute his films and that is why he supports that candidate of more government spending. He could have et least included or acknowledged this fact in his editorial, but he didn’t.
George Washington would not have been surprised and he wouldn’t have been upset; he would have recognized this truth in Ken’s life as he sought to work with Ken should he have had to on the issues of the day.
We are all Ken Burns, but we should aspire to be George Washington’s also.