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Impact of the Jack Bauer Voter
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, July 25, 2006

****Guest Blogger: Billy Hollis****


Let me state at the outset that I don’t watch much television. In particular, I’ve never seen an episode of “24”. (If I ever do, it’ll be on DVD, so that I can skip the commercials.)

But I’ve read articles about it. Actually, I gained most of my understanding of the show from the humorous list of facts about Jack Bauer. It contains such gems as:

“Jack Bauer once forgot where he put his keys. He then spent the next half-hour torturing himself until he gave up the location of the keys.”

If I understand correctly, “24” is one of the most popular shows on television, with tens of millions of viewers every week. And the main character is a guy who treats terrorists like vermin.

Let’s put aside the argument of whether terrorists deserve such treatment. You can consult any random thread on the Hamdan decision for that. I’m more interested in the implications of “24” on US politics.

The New York Times and assorted Democratic politicians would have us believe that our nation is gripped in angst over the NSA wiretapping program, the national phone database episode, secret foreign prisons, and even monitoring terrorists’ financial transactions. The popularity of “24” suggests that there is a fairly large portion of the citizenry that has no problem with any of those activities, as long as they result in catching terrorists.

Our major media is fond of typecasting voters to explain electoral dynamics. We had “soccer moms” in the 90’s that were supposed to be the linchpin of Bill Clinton’s support. Then there were the “NASCAR dads” that supposedly provided George W. Bush with his victory in 2004.

But I’m wondering if the concept of the “Jack Bauer voter” isn’t more relevant than either of those. Millions of people every week are eagerly watching a show in which (1) the threat of terrorism is apparently ubiquitous, (2) our political leaders are wimps, and (3) a tough-minded terrorism fighter always saves the day. Wouldn’t viewers of such a show be pre-disposed towards tough prosecution of the War on Terror?

Now couple that with recent reports of discovery of terrorist plots in the US and Canada. It appears that anti-terrorism efforts are bearing at least some fruit. Critics can point to the ineptitude of the suspects in Florida, but I suspect that the Jack Bauer voter doesn’t care about such nuances.

For the Democrats to capture Congress in 2006, they’ve got to come up with something that resonates with voters. They seem to be putting a lot of their effort into casting doubt on Bush’s anti-terrorism efforts. I suspect this is a losing game for them. If Democratic candidates remind voters of the wimpy politicians on “24”, I’d say that hurts their electoral prospects.

Maybe I’m reading too much into a popular television show. Is there such a thing as a Jack Bauer voter? Will they be an influence in 2006? I don’t know. But it makes as much sense to me as soccer moms.

————-

Billy has been one of my favorite commenters here at QandO and has written articles for "The New Libertarian".
 
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Yes. There are Jack Bauer voters.

And if there is a God, the next season of ’24’ will open with Jack Bauer standing at the helm of the Chinese tanker waiting for the CTU helicopters to come and pick him up. With no explanation given for the two dozen dead Chinese agents.

They can then flash-forward a year or two and set up the current season, which had better damn well feature pumas. :)

.



 
Written By: BumperStickerist
URL: http://
Maybe I’m just being idealistic/hopeful, but I would like to think that a lot of people that enjoy the show know the difference between hollywood and reality.

I enjoy Battlestar Galactica... that doesn’t mean I want to live in that world.
 
Written By: Tito
URL: http://
The popularity of "24" suggests that there is a fairly large portion of the citizenry that has no problem with any of those activities, as long as they result in catching terrorists.
Hogwash.
To use that, one must also say that the popularity of the Sopranos suggests that a fairly large portion of the citizenry is alright with organized crime.

I get your point about the press may be giving actions like the NSA wiretapping program to much attention as consequence. And that if one were to look at the press, one might think that the public is screaming about it, which they are, in large part, not.

But just because “24” is popular, does not mean that the general public is alright with torture. In fact, the polls suggest otherwise.
"Would you regard the use of torture against people suspected of involvement in terrorism as an acceptable or unacceptable part of the U.S. campaign against terrorism?"
Acceptable: 32%
Unacceptable: 64%
Thank the maker that we don’t use television as a barometer as to what the American people want. Lest we have Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, and Randy Jackson sitting on the Supreme Court.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
It’s also possible that people like watching 24 because they know there will be a satisfactory conclusion to the overall threat. And cheering for Bauer allows people to transfer their primal desire to be nasty to terrorists without having to support it in real life.

BTW, the show does portray Bauer as very extreme in his quest to determine the truth. For example, Bauer roughed up his girlfriend when she was named (as a preplanned diversion) by a terrorist accomplice. That was the season after he tortured her ex-husband based on terrorist suspicions (unfounded). He also tortured her brother who was tricked by terrorists to provide information. Additionally, Bauer recently knee-capped a guy’s wife, even though the woman and man were once good friends to Bauer, in order to pursuade the guy to talk (the man was involved in the plot, but not as a supporter of the terrorists...it was complicated).

In other words, Bauer often overuses torture and even tortures people he knows are innocent bystanders. I don’t think fans of the show (in which I include myself) are getting the idea that we need people like Bauer to fight terrorists in real life. Bauer is very much in the fantasy world and cartoonish in his powers, which is what makes the show fun to watch.

 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
The New York Times and assorted Democratic politicians would have us believe that our nation is gripped in angst over the NSA wiretapping program, the national phone database episode, secret foreign prisons, and . . . .
Well, I’ve never seen the TV show so I can’t comment on that but I would hope that the nation is concerned about the items you listed (sans the one I deleted) since they involve our civil liberties and the things that make America the great country that it is.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://dsthinkingloud.blogspot.com/
Oh, I forgot to add that I love how we never know which main characters from previous seasons are going to be killed off. I kind of expected Bauer to be killed by the Chinese in the final episode.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Exactly, Pogue. I enthusiastically support a lot of things on TV that I just as enthusiastically oppose in real life. Some things belong on TV, and only on TV, and Jack Bauer is one of them.

Unfortunately, McQ might be right in a way. If he, being somewhat more able and inclined than the average American to reflect on such matters, still doesn’t make a distinction between TV and real life, maybe others don’t either. Maybe there really are people who think the real world should be more like 24. It’s not clear that they’d constitute a significant demographic, but they might exist. Scary thought, huh?
 
Written By: Platypus
URL: http://pl.atyp.us
But just because “24” is popular, does not mean that the general public is alright with torture. In fact, the polls suggest otherwise.
"
Would you regard the use of torture against people suspected of involvement in terrorism as an acceptable or unacceptable part of the U.S. campaign against terrorism?"
Acceptable: 32%
Unacceptable: 64%
Yes, I’ve seen that poll. However, knowing a bit about about poll methodologies and the psychology of polling, I’m not sure we can get an accurate poll on that particular issue. It’s one of those where the person being polled may well perceive that the pollster will look down on them if they claim to consider torture acceptable. What they say to the pollster and what they really believe on that issue might well be different.

 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
One thing— are the politicians on 24 wimpy?

President David Palmer was not.

The second President did not seem to be wimpy, but then he died.

The third President seemed wimpy, but it turned out that he was eeeeeevil.

 
Written By: Gerry
URL: http://redstate.com
One thing— are the politicians on 24 wimpy?
I don’t know, Gerry. As I said, I don’t watch the show. But I got that impression from articles I’ve seen about it. Maybe it’s just that everyone seems like a wimp compared to Jack Bauer.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
I hate to agree with Pogue on this, but I don’t think you should read too much into a show’s popularity. It’s the formula: good action, good looking women, fights and guns for the men, and a sensitive but macho hero for the ladies.

After all, Prison Break is also popular and I doubt the nation is swooning for cons.

All this is indicitive of is that most normal people left or right aren’t so hung up in the political war that they can’t kick back for a night and watch a TV show.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Thanks for the reply, Billy.

I would say that more times than not, the 24 politicians were not wimpy. Particularly this was true during the first few seasons, where David Palmer was Jack’s unabashed ally.

Other than the quibble over the politicians in the show, I really like your take and think there is much to it.
 
Written By: Gerry
URL: http://redstate.com
I hate to agree with Pogue on this, but I don’t think you should read too much into a show’s popularity. It’s the formula: good action, good looking women, fights and guns for the men, and a sensitive but macho hero for the ladies.
I would agree that it’s always good to keep in mind that some things are just for entertainment. But this show looks like a phenomenon, at least to this outsider. I’d never heard of Prison Break until your post, and I suspect no one is liveblogging the episodes (as Dave Barry does for 24). I don’t see a hugely popular Internet list of "Facts about Tony Soprano" (I got three different emails of links to the Jack Bauer list.)

Maybe I’m just by chance sitting in a pocket of 24-fanatics among my friends and family, and get a skewed view. But I do believe that what’s popular at least partially reflects the values of the audience, and I see a lot of people who really groove on 24.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Let me insert a real life example of Jack Bauer and see where the audience’s opinions fall. Richard "Demo Dick" Marcinko. Yes, he hates the nickname.

Marcinko is the man who founded SEAL Team Six, Red Cell (Op-06D), and now heads a private security firm, SOS Temps. A decorated veteran, Marcinko has clearly spelled out that he has used torture in the past to obtain critical information from enemy combatants. Marcinko is probably the most capable spec-ops and anti-terrorism expert that the US Navy has ever produced. Very much a Patton type character (his worst enemy is his own big mouth), to a certain extent I suspect that Jack Bauer is loosely based on Marcinko. As a side note, he is an advisor on the television program 24 (which I haven’t seen, but I hear is a hoot). Anyone who believes that Jack Bauer is too "comic-bookish" or an impossibly ficticious charcter should read up a bit on Marcinko.

For any not familiar with Marcinko, I suggest reading his first two books, Rogue Warrior [autobiographical] and Red Cell [semi-autobiographical] (skip the rest unless you are a devotee of techno-thrillers). Or just listen to his radio program. Love him or hate him, Marcinko is the real deal.

PS He was railing about Islamofascist terror for twenty years before 9/11. Shame we didn’t listen to him. Gee, isn’t there a 1930’s paralell to this?
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://
I think it’s important to keep in mind that there’s a difference between how people respond to questions in the abstract and how they would respond when the situation is a bit more, shall we say, personal. This holds true whether one is discussing pork (I hate it, unless it is in my district) or fighting terror (we want to be civilized, unless it is our kids who are facing imminent harm, in which case the gloves come off).

One of the things that 24 does very well is take the abstract issues of terrorism and present them very up close and personal. For example, two seasons ago, there was an episode in which an ACLU-type attorney showed up to quash the interrogation of a suspect who knew where to find the terrorist planning on detonating a nuclear weapon in LA... you think there were many people cheering for the guy spouting off about civil liberties? All the viewers cared about was saving the million or so Americans who would die unless ’extraordinary’ measures were taken. If anything, they were wondering why it took Jack Bauer so long to do what he had to do.

As to the issue of how this plays out in the next election, it all depends on the degree to which people feel afraid of a terrorist attack. The more they’re afraid, the better for the party who is seen as being more capable (and willing to do what is necessary) to keep that from happening. On the other hand, the more people view a terrorist attack as some kind of an abstract ’sure, it could happen’ type of thing, the less likely this issue will factor into their votes. 24 viewers fall, in my opinion, very much into the first group...
 
Written By: steve
URL: http://
Anyone who believes that Jack Bauer is too "comic-bookish" or an impossibly ficticious charcter should read up a bit on Marcinko.
So he can single handedly neutralize an entire building of terrorists in less than 5 minutes with only a cell phone and a hand gun? Wow. How many times has he been clinically dead due to torture, only to be revived, kill multiple people, and escape in order to rescue the entire country in less than a few hours? This guy must be a real stud!
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
JWG, he’s only bodysurfed down rivers while under fire, set underwater demolitions in the dark while under fire, and done a HAHO jump with a parachute that failed to deploy (he used his reserve) and still gotten to the objective. He’s also infiltrated and captured US Navy nuclear weapons with only a 14 man team of SEALs. And how about boarding and capturing Air Force One? Pretty studly to me.

Seriously, if anybody gets my vote for real life Jack Bauer, it’s Dick Marcinko.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://
Omar:

Thanks for the book tip. Rogue Warrior is in my Amazon shopping cart.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://dsthinkingloud.blogspot.com/
Yeah, he’s a character alright, and very imposing in person (met him at a book signing.) His fiction is alright, his biography riveting. If even a quarter of what he says is true he is one bad @ssed dude we need more of.
The New York Times and assorted Democratic politicians would have us believe that our nation is gripped in angst over the NSA wiretapping program, the national phone database episode, secret foreign prisons, and . . . .
Well, I’ve never seen the TV show so I can’t comment on that but I would hope that the nation is concerned about the items you listed (sans the one I deleted) since they involve our civil liberties and the things that make America the great country that it is.
I’m concerned with those issues, but have no faith that our press has presented them in a factual way.

As for the show, it’s fiction, reality is much grayer. Would I exert physical force on someone if I thought it would save others? Depends on the situation is the most honest answer I can give. Now, as far as torture goes, you’ll have to define it before you get me to say yea or nea. I’ve seen a rather comprehensive list of what could be considered torture, and some of those things have their uses. As a matter of policy, we should have a clear definition of what can and can’t be done, and what legal protections there are for what can be done.
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
Unfortunately, McQ might be right in a way. If he, being somewhat more able and inclined than the average American to reflect on such matters, still doesn’t make a distinction between TV and real life, maybe others don’t either.
Unfortunately McQ didn’t write the piece, and Billy Hollis, who did, has never seen the show. So I’m not sure what "distinction" you think he’s not making here.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://qando.net
So I’m not sure what "distinction" you think he’s not making here.
Puzzled me a bit too. But the main "distinction" I like to make in comment threads is between people who actually read the post before commenting and people who don’t. I don’t usually respond to the latter, which is why I ignored that earlier monotreme-related comment.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Don’t forget Jack Bauer’s teleportation abilities.

The man is always 5 minutes away, no matter how far away he is.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Jack Bauers actions are well-debated by 24-hours fans. That is part of the "viewer experience". And websites devoted to the show, visited by millions, suggest that the prevailing opinion is that it is better to torture an enemy to save innocent lives —- than to trust the enemy’s good will to voluntarily spill the beans if he is treated nicely, given gourmet ME foods, "befriended" and given a specially blessed Koran - as some "human rights groups and paid leftist mouthpiece "torture experts" suggest.

Jack Bauer also resides in a fantasy world that Colonel West and FBI agents don’t live in. He can get away with "doing what had to be done". In reality, he would be in jail, career destroyed, subject to dozens of lawsuits by the ACLU and NYC ambulance chaser crowd, and denounced on the Senate floor by the likes of Feingold, Durbin, Spector, and the "enemy rights are paramount" JAG weasel Lindsey Graham. Not for all he’s done in 4 seasons, but the "grave immoral actions" Leftys argue in real life - violate inviolate International Law that protect the enemy seeking to kill innocents from "excesses".

Jack Bauer also provides an "out" for those who want the moral high ground of saying they find "all torture" all "inconveniences imposed on radical Muslim unlawful combatants" morally unacceptable....but say that in the exceptionally rare cases, where a ticking time bomb exists, a "Hero agent" will fall on his sword for the good of his country and accept jail and disgrace as his proper reward if he tortures and saves lives. Or just as bad... humiliates or in any way degrades the dignity of an assassin. A "we can have our cake, and eat it too!" case.

But why did I mention FBI and Colonel West? Because they are real life.

The FBI fought Muslim agents here pre-9/11, with an eye first towards CYA. Every regulation was followed, every chain of command was kept and agents knew when to stop and shut up if superiors weren’t interested in Arabs of suspicious nature flocking to flight schools in the USA. Suspects were carefully layered in lawyers and if the slightest doubt existed that a liberal judge might find the FBI "too aggressive or too insensitive to the absolute constitutional rights and implicit civil liberties of an illegal alien suspected of terrorist activities" the FBI was smart enough to back off threats to career success. Memorably, the head supervisor of the FBI in NYC assembled all agents and staff on Sept 12th, to motivate them to get ready for the "greatest crime investigation ever", and to reassure them. As the 9/11 Commission reported, there was great concern at the FBI that someone would be held accountable for FBIs counterterror failure, and the Head Supervisor assured "Everyone here is safe. There will be no punishments. Everyone followed the book."

And he was right. Not a single firing, demotion, or punitive reassignment was done in respect to 9/11.

In talking with a few folks in "national Security" agencies, including a college buddy now in ____agency after 12 years with the FBI and 4 previous with______State Police.....I see a pervasive mindset that it would be insane to wreck a career for saving people from a ticking bomb. They say "heroism in defying the law is not the answer, changing the law is, and we must do our job in full compliance until that law is changed...to protect ourselves personally, and to not bypass the regs, codes, and laws we are sworn to uphold."

Colonel West was a senior black officer on a "selectee for Flag officer" track who had an Islamofascist in custody he was informed had set up an ambush to kill men in his command. To protect the lives of his men, West took out a 9mm, put the Jihadi on his knees, fired off a round 6 inches from the terrorists head - and as the Muslim voided himself, said the next one was going to spatter his brains. The Islamofascist talked - gave up the ambushers, the ambush site, who in Saddams Fedayeen paid him to do it, who in the adjacent town had supplied the RPGs. West was arrested, court-martialed, his career wrecked, and removed from the service. West is justly considered a hero to some, but the bottom line is he destroyed a star-bright career by saving 4-5 American lives, and apparantly has found civilian employment opportunities diminished and with far less pay than a "by the book peer" is offered. The milblogs still debate West, and there is a very large faction that says they will sacrifice Americans under them rather than be disgraced and imprisoned for illegal actions that would save their lives. And the milblogs have apocryphal stories of officers who have indeed sacrificed subordinates lives rather than risk a career with aggressive interrogations...

My personal sense is the voiciferous "enemy rights" advocates in Congress, the media, the Left, Euroweenies, Muslim rights groups, and in the anti-American human rights groups funded by fabulously wealthy international financiers - are crawling way out on a limb.

Where or how it may come to sawing the "enemy rights lovers" off the limb???
Possibly after the next big attack as the "civil liberties for Jihadis" elements of the Democratic Left, media, and media-beloved "maverick Republicans" are held to account.

"Oh, Senator Feingold, as FBI Ass’t Director, I do feel personally terrible about the 900 dead Americans who were nerve-gassed in Seattle at the end of 2007, knowing as we did that the 3 Muslim combatants we caught crossing over from Canada were part of a larger group we thought were already in the US planning something terrible. We gave them 3 Gold-embossed Korans, our female agents peeled grapes for them, we gave them all the lawyers they wanted, and video games as requested. But you, McCain, Durbin, Schumer, Boxer, Kennedy, Spector, Dean, Pelosi, Graham all said that no threat to innocent American lives merits putting a terrorist in any discomfort. Sadly, the 3 terrorists did not want to be our "friends", and kept saying they hoped all infidels including us...must die and our religion barred their friendship. Which forced us to choose between wrecking our careers by interogating them, and accepting 900 dead, 110 brain-damaged vegetatives by nerve gas, and 2200 others with minor to significant injury. We hope the voters approve of your authority to order and compel law enforcement to act as we did, and can weigh in on your positions that enemy rights trump American rights not to be butchered by foreign invaders."

"No, Senator Feingold, it is not our fault. We did everything by the book. And by civil service statutes, we cannot be disciplined for following the laws you demanded. Blame the terrorists, if you dare, Senator Feingold...maybe the "enemy rights laws" you and others emplaced after you thought 9/11 was a one-time thing and Bush was a bigger threat than Al Qaeda to "American rights". But do not blame us, the CIA, Justice, the Armed Forces, or anyone else you lawyers hamstrung. Oh, sorry, hamstrung is inappropriate - I apologize - subjected to your strict no wiggleroom wise laws best discerned by all wise fellow lawyers wearing robes. Oh, and you might want to look at the NY Times disclosure that we had "privacy-invading, undocumented worker punishing, secretly snooping without a warrant" sensors all along the Canadian border doing IR sensing. Which allowed the 8 Jihadis in the main contigent and their nerve gas cannisters to be informed enough to take countermeasures and slip past undetected in an area the NYTimes map showed had "sparse sensors". I know many of you "progressive Senators" think the NYTimes is the wisest of all in creating US policy, or sabotaging our defenses for "higher reasons", and folks like you think they have absolute protection from treason and sedition charges by the 1st Amendment sanctuary they claim. Perhaps you or whoever is elected to represent your state in 2008 may wish to reconsider the NYTimes immunity..."
 
Written By: C. Ford
URL: http://
David, you are going to be impressed with Rogue Warrior. Even if the sometimes gratuitous narration turns you off (as it does me sometimes), the actual facts presented will keep you riveted right till the end. I also recommend Red Cell, the sequel, which is partially autobiographical and partially fictional (names changed to protect the guilty).

Keith, I’ve met Marcinko a few times in the past and the one thing that always impressed me about him (and that scared the heck out of me) was his cool, dry palmed handshake and the look in his eyes. Marcinko’s as straight a shooter as they come, but he’s got the "Stop me or I’ll kill again" look in his eyes. This man has seen death, cozied up to the bar with him, and beat him in drinking contests. Super nice guy. Very, very scary. And, to be honest, shorter than I thought (I must have been a good two or three inches taller). Oh well, they say the Navy prefers ’em short.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://
Jack Bauer also resides in a fantasy world that Colonel West and FBI agents don’t live in. He can get away with "doing what had to be done".
Does that include torturing innocent American citizens, some of whom he knows are innocent before he shoots out their kneecaps in order to make someone else talk?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
I lost my keys last Sunday, but resorted only to rigorous questioning and humiliation. That’s probably why it took over an hour to get myself to give up their location.

Actually, they fell into one of the bags of groceries I’d carried in, and my wife moved the bag. It took three reconstructions of what I did that morning to figure it out.
 
Written By: triticale
URL: http://triticale.mu.nu
Jack Bauer also resides in a fantasy world that Colonel West and FBI agents don’t live in. He can get away with "doing what had to be done".
Does that include torturing innocent American citizens, some of whom he knows are innocent before he shoots out their kneecaps in order to make someone else talk?

Written By: JWG
Of course! Robocop had sent deadly Sentox nerve gas on the loose! 100s of thousands of lives on the line! As usual. *yawn* Killed Jack’s friends, even beloved President Palmer. Tried whacking Cloe! The mentor of Jack who betrayed Jack and tried to kill him! Then played coy with Jack. What possible choice left on Earth did Jack have left but to shoot nice Mrs. Poltergeist, who once served Jack cookies, in the leg? Sure got Robocop’s attention and cooperation after that!

The show’s absurd, the writing sometimes preposterous, but it is darn entertaining.

My own notation of the scene was mostly observing Mrs. Poltergeist, JoBeth Williams, is still very hot-looking. I thought she was in her 20s when I saw Poltergeist as a kid, so nice mid-40s babe...then I found out from my uncle (a big fan of hers) that she’s actually pushing 60.

Pity they didn’t have her in later scenes in a skimpy Teddy and a wheelchair for Jack to "solace" her - about her husbands evil, and maybe make her forget about the minor gunshot inconvenience....but they had another hot middle aged lady, Jean Smart, pick up the slack as the First Babe.

PS - Your anatomy lessons need some work, JWG. A shot through fine Mrs. Poltergeists lower quad muscle mid-thigh is not in the knee. She’s be walking again in a week or so. The knee was obviously Jack’s 2nd shot if Robocop didn’t crack.

PS2 - Fans hope Jack gets to torture or kill Kim, Spawn of Jack. Commonly referred to in blogs as simply Spawn - for the twin crimes of lousy acting and being irritating. Nicer people have died or been tortured for less on 24.
 
Written By: C. Ford
URL: http://
The show’s absurd, the writing sometimes preposterous, but it is darn entertaining.
Agreed. So why are people trying to relate it to real life? You can’t compare Bauer’s get-tough-with-terrorists actions to actual events without considering his get-tough-on-innocents actions as well.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
The New York Times and assorted Democratic politicians would have us believe that our nation is gripped in angst over the NSA wiretapping program, the national phone database episode, secret foreign prisons, and . . . .
Well, I’ve never seen the TV show so I can’t comment on that but I would hope that the nation is concerned about the items you listed (sans the one I deleted) since they involve our civil liberties and the things that make America the great country that it is.
NSA wiretapping program - You mean they may have overheard my grandmothers recipe for making biscuits?

national phone database episode - You mean they know how often I call my mom?

secret foreign prisons - What no access to an ACLU lawyer?

When I start getting calls from the NSA asking if it was a pinch or dash or telling me that it’s wednesday night and I haven’t placed a call to my mother then I might care about this stuff but that ain’t going to happen. As far as the secret prisons go I say good on them. We don’t capture terrorist so they can talk to lawyers and get free defense for killing innocent civilians because some lawyer wants to make a name for himself. We capture them for interrogation so we can capture/kill more terrorist. I don’t think they should be tortured to get information because they start making up stuff just to stop the torture. The torture should be done just because they are terrorist.

 
Written By: Mac
URL: http://
"Don’t forget Jack Bauer’s teleportation abilities.

The man is always 5 minutes away, no matter how far away he is."

Hell, the Dukes of Hazzard and Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane were never more than 15 seconds apart, even if the entire space of Hazzard County was between them.

Anyway, back on topic. The early ’70s had movies that quite possibly portended the turn to the Right by the American public in crime fighting. The Dirty Harry (1971, I think) and Death Wish (1974?) became series that allowed American citizens to vicariously do what they felt they couldn’t do in real life. Dirty Harry blowing away thugs? Right on!! Charles Bronson as a private citizen (an architect, no less) blowing away thugs? Go gettem!!

I think the point is, re polls that don’t ask the right questions (Would you be in favor of torturing a suspect if you *knew* he had information that would prevent a nuclear detonation that would kill your family?) don’t get to the feelings of people. I’ll bet in the ’70s most people thought accused criminals and thugs should *never* have their rights abridged, but the Reagan Revolution happened anyway, partly because the public apparently wanted a more muscular policy.

I wouldn’t be surprised if ’24’ and other such are indicators of a change. I guess we’ll see, but if I were running as a Repub against a Dem, I would certainly consider comparing my opponent to one of the wimps on ’24’ one way or another.

P.S. For one reason and another I’ve never watched any of the show, so I’m not really involved in the phenomena, I think.
 
Written By: JorgXMcKie
URL: http://
Hey, I LOVE 24, and it has nothing to do with my vote. It is a TV SHOW and I’m not dumb enough to vote on things based on that.
 
Written By: Laura
URL: http://

 
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