In that time of day when the sun isn’t quite up so it isn’t actually day, yet it isn’t exactly night–a pretty magical time I think, I realized that Scott Walker running for President is a lot like that Frank Sinatra movie, “The Manchurian Candidate”, a political thriller directed by John Frankenheimer. Briefly, the film is about a plot to assassinate the presidential nominee so that a right-wing puppet can be installed in the White House with emergency powers that “will make martial law seem like anarchy”. The goal of the conspirators is to bring a totalitarian regime to the United States. In 1962, that was the Communists…today it could the Tea Party-led GOP. Scott Walker, a guy who is plainly unlikeable and uncharismatic is like the brainwashed assassin, who his fellow soldiers (also clearly brainwashed) all say “is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.” Sound like something Kelly Reinfliesch or Tim Russell might say? It certainly does to me. The plot to takeover the US presidency begins to unravel when Sinatra’s character dreams about what really happened when the soldiers were captured and he realizes that they (including the assassin) had false memories due to the brainwashing. I ask you, who has more “false” memories than Scott Walker? Just pick up a copy of his “Unintimidated” (not exactly a bestseller) to see how far he can stretch the truth. While the real life version hasn’t played out to its conclusion, in the film the assassin is un-programmed and kills his handler, the puppet and himself. My hope is that unlike REEL life, there will just be a spectacular fall from grace for Walker that will crush his aspirations once and for all and might involve an orange jumpsuit.
The “Manchurian Candidate” is a fantastic film which I highly recommend taking the time to see. I can’t vouch for the 2004 remake….I am not even sure it is the same story.