A show that transformed TV’s interpretation of politics, The West Wing remains one of the most popular shows of our time. It exemplifies how powerful bipartisanship can make our nation a stronger union of all citizens. In a time when we wonder if we live in reality TV time, this is a show that can be instructive for real life administrations. I believe that all POTUS’s can take a page or two out of the Bartlet playbook, whether it be hiring a spunky young lawyer who has polar-opposite political views, or humbly reminding yourself that you represent everyone – not just those who cast their vote for you. Many young politicos can confess hours of binge-watching the show on repeat. If you haven’t seen at least a few episodes, you should make that happen soon. Until your next episode, here’s the top five most inspiring quotes from The West Wing:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful and committed citizens can change the world. Do you know why?” – President Bartlet
“It’s the only thing that ever has” – Will Bailey
Does anyone else get goosebumps reading that? Our nation became a shining city on a hill for the rest of the world based on the principle that a small group of committed Americans believed in freedom from tyranny and oppression. The fact that this principle continues to reign in truth today is what makes our country so amazing.
“I’m not going anywhere, I’m standing up, which is how one speaks in opposition in a civilized world,” – Ainsley Hayes
If only everyone had this mentality when respectfully disagreeing with others. What happened to the days of simply standing up, rather than throwing false accusations, yelling, fighting, or rioting? Every young politico should embrace the opportunity to simply stand up, as Ainsley so courageously does in her daily life as a conservative lawyer in the liberal West Wing.
“I am the President of the United States. Not the President of the people who agree with me,” – President Bartlet
When did it become common practice for a President to ignore half the nation? Many administrations have made it clear that they are, in fact, the President of those who agree with them, rather than the entire country. President Bartlet makes it clear in this quote that he is interested in serving all Americans, not just his party, the Democrats.
“What’s Next?” – President Bartlet
Always thinking about what’s coming ahead of him, President Bartlet is frequently found asking his beloved secretary, Mrs. Landingham, “what’s next?”This iconic quote stands as a simple, yet steadfast reminder that there is never downtime. When you are the leader of the free world as the President of the United States, you give it your all, all the time.