Who Would You Pick as Designated Survivor?
Tom Kirkland in Designated Survivor is a striking contrast to Frank Underwood in House of Cards. Whereas Underwood rules by ruthless pragmatism, Kirkland’s press secretary says in a private conversation with a colleague that Kirkland is “nothing but decency and compassion…this guy is service over ambition, integrity above expedience.”
No doubt, ruthless pragmatism has often characterized the national political scene. So one could easily wonder who Underwood’s character best depicts on the national stage. Perhaps due to cynicism, and perhaps due to scarcity of options, we may be hard pressed to spot Kirkland’s political lookalike.
President Trump’s recent attacks on a deceased Senator McCain also serve as a striking contrast, not simply between the living and the dead. Trump symbolizes ambition and expedience, whereas McCain’s legacy more aptly symbolizes service and integrity.
Given the current political landscape and partisanship, one might understandably fear that service and integrity in political office died with McCain.
Those we esteem in leadership says something about us, not simply something about them. If push comes to shove and we had opportunity to select a designated survivor to run our country, who would we pick? Kirkland’s or Underwood’s protégé, McCain’s or Trump’s apprentice?