Overview: President Barack Obama began his presidency with pledges of “hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.” Despite many successes, however, the unity he promised has eluded him. As Obama’s presidency draws to an end, with the election of Donald Trump, America is painfully divided. Many fear that the vicious tone set by the 2016 election will continue under a new Trump administration.
Debuting FRIDAY, DECEMBER 09 at 10:00pm, the HBO special VICE SPECIAL REPORT: A HOUSE DIVIDED presented exclusive access to the president, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, former Speaker of the House John Boehner, the president’s inner circle and key opponents, with VICE founder Shane Smith examining the rise of the Tea Party, the faltering of key congressional deals and the growing extremism that has left America more divided than ever.
Expectations: VICE gets in there and talks it out. I’m sure there will be no real lessons to take away from this; no solutions offered by anybody from any side. Shane Smith will remind us of what lead us to this point. It is a State of The Union VICE-style.
Gut Reaction: Okay, there is one thing I could strongly take away from this report – America has been so worried about Middle Eastern extremism and yet has just shaped itself to be almost as extreme! Many fear that American extremism has now at a critical point and the future looks grim. This special report looks at how we got to that point. Its starting point was the election of Barack Obama.
Now one could argue that the U. S. has had a history of being divided for quite a while. Whigs & Tories come to mind as does The War Between The States. And there has always been the division between Republicans and Democrats, but what has changed to really make it out right vicious today? This report, through comments made from a few of the politicos interviewed, says the fractious media system has a large part in fueling it. News networks are no longer objective but are either conservative or liberal and feed the agenda they purport. Couple that with a Congress that is not afraid to express and adamantly stand for what they believe to the point of childish behavior in the hallowed halls of Capitol Hill. That is fueled by a citizenry doing the same thing to the point of revolution. It is all exciting, dangerous and scary. A faction of society not often heard from now has a strong voice – isn’t that what democracy stands for?
Getting off the soapbox now, this writer wants to state that this report talks to all sides of the equation. How did we get to this point is asked of the current President, current and former Congressmen and political strategist that all come up to the same conclusion as they go over the years of the now closing administration. Even Obama admits that his goal for unity failed. HOUSE DIVIDED had been in development for several months and finally wrapped up upon the conclusion of the election, which has Donald Trump as our President-Elect. This documentary barely even mentions Trump let alone his stance. It clearly points out, however, what a chore he has ahead of him if he wishes to address unity. We all have a chore ahead of us without compromising our beliefs. Capitol Hill is a good a place as any to address it, but the politicos there need to start respecting one another do get it done.
In Conclusion: This review is really just to boil down the essence of the report and to state it was well executed without really delving into my political stance or to even incite any political rants in the comments below. Very simply, this is a good special report. It encapsulates very well the steps taken to embolden the fervor we are now under. It illustrates the chaos, the passion, the stubbornness, determinism and the stupidity of it all. Good luck to us all!