Wednesday, 23 May 2018

The Post: How the US championed democracy back in the 70s

By Lucia Fillippo

Throughout history, we, the westerners have been taught to cherish and worship democracy and everything this political system entitles. Democracy is like buying a basket with tons of things that you may not know what they are, but you know they are there.

With the basket of democracy, liberty, freedom, universal suffrage, separation of powers and the rule of law come along. The United States has championed the standards of democracy not only in its domestic affairs but in the international arena. All these victories could have never been possible without the Constitution as the main guideline of the country. Without any doubt, the founding fathers of the United States of America truly believed that freedom and liberty as in individual, political and civil liberties, is and must be the epicenter of any successful society.

For many years, Americans have sold democracy and everything it entails, as the best government system there is. The cinema industry is no exception, the movie The Post released last December, clearly shows how the respect of freedom of speech and the separation of powers make the US a clear example of what the western values are. The Post narrates the story of the newspaper the Washington Post and its determined view on publishing leaked documents of Nixon’s presidency and in general, the US government. More specifically, The Washington Post unveils government papers and demonstrates that the US is losing the Vietnam War, that indeed is a proxy war with the USSR and that the intervention of the States was planned since the John F. Kennedy presidency. In response to this, President Nixon in an intercepted call with his Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, states that he is pulling all the strings together in order to make the Supreme Court of the US close the Post. At the end the movie, the Court declares that within the interpretation of the constitution, freedom of speech is one of the main values the US and that any newspaper must never be closed for publishing any content.

In this order of ideas, freedom of speech can be either a check or a balance for the US government, and that is what democracy is all about. This alongside many other stories shows how the success of the US as a society regards to freedom.

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