Bush and political criticism

Cover of "Enemy of the State"
Cover of Enemy of the State

I don’t suppose I’m that close to American politics – not living there and all. An American boyfriend of mine got really irritated with me for expressing my views on the absolute greatness of Clinton, even in 2001. “You don’t know anything about it”, he said, but was pretty vague about what exactly I didn’t know. I watched his reelection in 1996 with baited breath, just somehow loving the verve, the dynamism, the obvious intelligence.

I guess I just thought of him as a force for good for the world, regardless of his personal shortcomings – or perhaps because of them. He seemed capable of assimilating other points of view, and other ways of living, which made his foreign policy decisions somewhat more nuanced than Bush’s. I guess in the end his impact was limited, as a result of that Congress vote in 1994, so it’s all the more impressive that he made any headway – mainly by not really changing too much.

Maybe it’s just a coincidence of the global economic boom that the 1990s were also an amazing time for films. I guess it all came down to money, and if you can get the funding, you can make anything, no matter how controversial.

One of those movies is Enemy of the State, which I’m just watching on TV. I saw it when it came out, and remember thinking it was all a bit conspiracy-theorist nonsense. Governments don’t spy on their citizens, I thought. It would not get made today, and the main reason is that none of it turns out to be that far-fetched in the truly digital age.The Patriot Act made it all a reality.

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