Sunday, March 18, 2012

Battlestar Galactica: dissention in the ranks

Spoilers ahead for those of you who are like me and either haven't seen the series or are following along on BBC America. Sorry for those of you who might have been spoiled previously. Though really, you should expect it at this point.

I've spent the whole series talking about how well the show addresses political issues. Tonight's episodes were no different. But the issue they addressed was different than any I can relate to modern or even history American politics, which is a coup. Lt. Gaeda (sorry if I fracked up that spelling, too lazy to look it up) and the vice president overthrow Adama and take over Galactica. Once they've done that an some of the crew tries to resist the VP has the council, the representatives of the 12 tribes, killed. So the rebels aren't fracking around.

Eventually Gaeda backs down and Adama retains command. It was very dramatic tv. I thoroughly enjoyed it. But when it comes to relating this to real world politics, this episode scares me a little. As far as I know, we've never had any attempted coup in the US. What these episodes showed was how difficult it would be the pull off. But what worries me a bit is that if even a small group of people wanted to, they could cause a lot of damage. And on the political side of things, I'm not sure what safety measures are in place in case a situation were to arise.

This also makes me think of the importance of the military. Gaeda succeeds initially because he gets an upper hand on the gun situation. The founders placed the 2nd amendment in the bill of rights because they wanted the people to be able to defend themselves if a foreign army invaded or if the gov't tried to impose itself on them. That was the right decision. And even though I'm not a fan of guns in today's society, I'll respect the 2nd amendment. But at this point, given the size and strength of our military, the fact that we can bear arms is fairly meaningless. There is no way the civilian public could defend itself against a military coup.

I don't really have any profound solutions to put forth regarding those points. I just wanted to call attention to how fragile stability can be. And I can't wait for the rest of the show. There is so much left to address. I hope they can wrap it up in an effective way.

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