I have lately been watching some House of Cards. Political maneuvering, backroom dealmaking, and occasional murder are the order of the day in that show. It depicts an evil, narcissistic, dangerous man as President, one who is convinced of his ability to make deals with anyone and push his agenda through.
The politicians in the show are all over the map. Some are true believers, fighting for their cause. Some are simply power hungry. There are pragmatists who compromise to try to get things done, and there are purists who will torpedo anything that isn't exactly what they want. The dysfunctionality of that made up American leadership is mindblowing.
Sometimes I think to myself "Wow, these characters are ridiculous. How do they come up with this stuff.?"
Then I read about actual US politics.
You know, where a evil, narcissistic, dangerous man who is convinced of his own supernatural dealmaking ability is President. Where legislation can't be passed because it is simultaneously hated by people on every possible side. People who love the direction the legislation is going, and who have *zero* hope of pushing through their own version, refuse to vote for a compromise solution because it isn't pure enough. The Republicans control all the branches of government right now and still can't pass a new health care bill, despite spending seven years talking about how literally anything would be better.
The thing that made me shake my head tonight is that it isn't even as though the characters in House of Cards are exaggerated. All the crazy stuff that happens there isn't crazier than real life... it is in fact a scaled down version of real life. Because if you actually put stuff as crazy as real life in the show, no one would believe it.