Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Documentaries you ought to see

" Whatever your opinion of Ralph Nader - you ought to see this documentary film about him.Ralph is the Unreasonable Man. "-Dal LaMagna

An Unreasonable Man is a good movie but it has the problem of making you feel that our politics began in the 1960s. Other documentaries I would recommend:

The Atomic Cafe – 80s look at the American side of the early cold war nuclear confrontation. It’s fascinating to see Nixon debating with Kruschev, and suggesting the Soviet Union may be ahead in the thrust of their rockets but we are ahead in other things such as our color television (Kennedy then went on color television and pummeled Nixon for the missile gap on behalf of the military industrial complex, though this is not in the movie).

Heir to an Execution – granddaughter Ivy Meeropol looks at the Rosenberg executions. The Greenglass family is mostly not talking to the Rosenberg family to this day. It turns out that Julius Rosenberg’s Soviet code name was “Liberal.” Nixon is seen in his own twisted way advocating a kind of restraint in pursuing communists in the U.S. (“if you’re going to shoot rats, you should shoot straight”).

The long history of the left in the United States is one of variously courting the Democratic Party, being courted by it, fighting the Democratic Party, and being demonized by it. So what Nader did in 2000 was not so surprising given this history, as well as his own. It is interesting that after the election Gore stepped away from taking on the type of projects that would cause middle America (the ironically named “red” states) to regret not voting for him in 2000. It has become clear now that Gore chose a path instead to embarrass the left for not supporting him.

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