Sunday, September 03, 2006

Death of a President


The movie, Death of a President, written and directed by Gabriel Range, shows President Bush being assassinated, and the whirlwind of a response after. The article also shows the American people's reaction to this movie and and especially the people's reaction to the assassination of a sitting President, even when the reaction is "make-believe".

Now, I didn't see the movie. The movie will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival later in September before being shown on Channel 4's satellite channel More4 in October. More4 is (maybe) a British cable and/or satellite channel that (definitely) I don't have, so I could be inaccurate about this film. But I have based my opinion on many reviews and opinions, both in print, on radio, and on TV.

But what would be like if Bush was gunned down during his presidency? The film predicts Muslims are targeted as guilty even though there is no evidence to back the claim. The first one who the police are leading towards is a man who is born in Syria.

However, the reaction to the film is the focal point. This article is from London, but it is the same reaction in America. The boisterous commentators are the Republicans. Whether it's Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Bill O'Reilly...you name it: they all have an opinion about degrading this movie. Democrats are not so vocal, but Democrats and Republicans agree about the film.

When the left and the right agree on something, it is nearly always omnipotent government statists, and the self-government libertarians are left out in the dust. Death of a President agrees with the norm. A libertarian always sides with the Constitution, and Amendment 1 says, in part, "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech". That doesn't mean a few laws on speech. That doesn't mean no laws on speech, except speech made by "terrorist", "Islamic fascists", or "really bad people in general". That means NO LAWS ON SPEECH, PERIOD! Michael Badnarik agrees with me when he jokes he wish the Framer's put a period after the first five words in the First Amendment..nothing more. It would make him happy (and me, too!).

But Death of a President is nothing but a movie, and a movie is mass-communication (i.e., mass-speech), whether or not that communication is disturbing (if you think Death of a President is disturbing, wait until you get a load of watching America: Freedom to Fascism!). Unlike liberals and conservatives, libertarian believe in the intelligence and wisdom of the American people, and the actor who plays the President is alive today. We see murder on the movies and TV all the time. Do you copy the murders? I saw a movie that showed a bank being robbed, but I didn't copy the robbery. In an unlikely chance that the person was so inspired (and so deranged) by this movie, he will be waiting to finish off the president like the film said, the Secret Service will arrest that person, charge him, and if the jury finds him guilty, lock him away for a long, long time. But don't blame the action on the film. This film--any film--is about freedom of expression, and that expression is protected by the First Amendment. The Framers had it right on living in a truly free society, including watching any movie that the people want.

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