When I was in 12th grade, we spent the second semester of our US Government class as a Mock Congress. At the time, the Democrats controlled Congress, and since I wanted to be in a position of “power”, I chose to play the role of a Democrat so that I could be Majority Whip. And because I wanted to do a good job, I researched the Democratic positions of the time and found, much to my surprise, that I agreed with them — and I’ve been a Democrat ever since.
That was an effective civics lesson.
Today, we went to see Charlie Wilson’s War, an even more effective civics lesson, and one based on a true story, with dialog improved by Aaron Sorkin. Charlie Wilson represented the 2nd Congressional District of Texas. He was not the kind of Congressman held up as a role model in my Government class — the film opens with him in a hot tub, with a couple of strippers and a Playboy model, along with booze and drugs. But somehow, he had sufficient concentration to watch a “60 Minutes” report on Afghanistan that happened to be on, and, since he also happened to be on the committee which controlled funding for covert CIA operations, he decided to do something to help the brave Afghan fighters.
That something involved trips into dangerous beds as well as dangerous country, wheeling, dealing, and probable violation of several laws — and, at the same time, he was being investigated on drug allegations.
I was completely consumed by the movie, even though I knew how it would end. I don’t think they’ll make the sequel — it would be too depressing.