In 1960, Spencer Tracy starred in a film about what became known as the famous Scopes Monkey trial. The film was called "Inherit the Wind". A story of the court case that involved teaching Darwin's theory of man. The character played in the movie by Tracy was a lawyer defending the young school teacher arrested for teaching evolution as written by Charles Darwin. The state of Tennessee had on it books a law prohibiting any teaching other than the design of man by creation.
In reality the movie and the events portrayed in the screen version were vastly different than the true events. Nevertheless, the movie version has become part of most people's recollection of the monkey trial.
The movie did not try and prove that Darwin was correct or incorrect in his writing. It did try to prove the point that what separates man from the animals is his ability to think. One of the great gifts mankind has is the ability to think and reason with the world around us. With this ability we have continually looked at our world and changed it. As with any power, we have not always made the right choices in the continued growth of our species, but we have continued to grow and hopefully improve.
Spencer Tracy argued what the young teacher was trying to impart to his students was not so much the evolution of man but their ability to think. To think and make decisions has always been the one gift I hope man will never lose. If he does, then perhaps he should be put on trial for the loss of that ability.
Given my feelings on this fact, I believe that perhaps the men who represent us in Washington, D.C., should be put on trial for losing their ability to think. Our government seems to be increasingly driven by political ideology and not the problems before it.
With the recent election ofScott Brownto fill Ted Kennedy's seat our government is once again locked into a stalemate of managing our country. It seems that increasingly our elected government is about control of our government and not governing to benefit the citizens.
I do not know how the proposed new laws on health care will affect my family or myself in the future. The law is so complex and long it is beyond my ability to understand its merits or faults. And those in Washington do not seem to understand it either. But they do understand if they are Republican or Democrat and how they stand on this issue.
If our government is going to be so polarized as to position on any issue tied to a political party, perhaps we should save money and not send anyone to Washington. Perhaps we should hold an election in which every party that wins paint their seat in Washington either red or blue. That way when an issue comes up for vote all we will have to do is count the red chairs and blue chairs and declare a winner. We could save a great deal of money and cut down on global warming by hot air.
Tracy said in the movie that what was on trial was the ability of man to think. Have those that represent us forgotten they possess the ability to reason about a problem? In this country good, hard working people are losing everything they have to pay for health care. Everyday honest people who have worked hard are asked to decide between medical treatment and heat for a cold home. And in less than 10 years Medicare will be insolvent.
Surely a country that is rich in intelligent people and skills can figure a way to solve this national problem.
The answer is not in Washington as long as the war between the two political parties rages on. And like in most wars, the greatest losses are the innocent bystanders, the American citizens. I will bet you not one of those that represent us has to decide if they can afford medicaltreatment for a loved one tonight.
There are without a doubt many in Washington that are good intelligent people elected by citizens of their state to go to halls of government and solve problems. Somehow they have become more influenced by party lines than by the gift of common sense when they use their heads and think. Tracy's character in the movie was correct in his opinion that this ability is what separates us from the animals.
To inherit the wind is reaching out with your handand trying to capture the air around you. And to abandon the ability to think is to forget one of mankind's greatest gifts in creation. At least that is how I remember the lesson of the movie when I look Thru the Lens.