The Green Hope Falcon

Madam Secretary: A Bipartisan Dream

CBS's 'Madam Secretary'

CBS

CBS's 'Madam Secretary'

Uma Bhat, Staff Writer

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The fifth season of “Madam Secretary” began airing on CBS October 7th, 2018. Despite a significant drop in ratings during the fourth season of the acclaimed show, Madam Secretary has consistently had not only a strong viewership, but also an increasingly bold view on politics — one that might just be needed in the real world.

“I’m fully prepared to live with the consequences of my actions,” Madam Secretary, played by Tea Leoni, famously stated. “What I couldn’t live with were the consequences of my inactions.”

Although many may find this remark too casually stated, perhaps even too idealistic, it is a line that many American politicians have disguised under their speeches and thrown around frequently during elections. It has become too recognizable — a “take action”, call to change motto associated to the tug-of-war rope that is partisanship. No one side is tugged sufficiently enough to create lasting change — the others side will always tug back. Especially as November 6th draws nearer, voters understand the extremely polarized nature of the nation.

Yet, these quotes make up only part of why Madam Secretary is such a “bipartisan dream”. In addition to a realm where honesty and good character makes up an integral part of the way politics are played out, an unfortunate fantasy in itself, Madam Secretary showcases Elizabeth “Bess” McCord (Madam Secretary) and her cabinet counterparts as willing to override party affiliations in order to gain ground on issues that are important to them. A true example of this is when “President” Dalton of the show supports the theory of climate change and vows to green-energy efforts, effectively losing the vote of his party. However, instead of giving up mid-election season, Dalton, encouraged by Elizabeth and his staff, runs as an independant with an open-minded view and willingness to work across the aisle — and he wins.

This portrayal of politics is fanciful in itself, but other aspects of the show make it occasionally hard to believe. For example, a cabinet that isn’t predominantly male, a female National Security Advisor, a lack of strong arming and display of Machiavellianism, a world where there’s a way to differentiate and choose between good and bad over win and lose — and, of course, no time for tweeting. One, in today’s age, might even consider it naivety. After all, in what world would it be possible to ignore the divisions in ideology that we’ve set up for ourselves to follow the Disney-esque values taught to us as young children? In what world would it be possible to without hesitation, find a way to “do the right thing”?

“I think Madam Secretary at times can seem like a bipartisan dream.” Pooja Patel, a junior at Green Hope an an avid fan of Madam Secretary states. “However, I believe it serves as a model for what our political system could be like if there was more cooperation — meaning that it may seem idealistic at times, but that’s done on purpose to demonstrate how our government could be if certain differences were put aside.”

Perhaps the innocent optimism of Madam Secretary, alongside its talented cast, twisting plots, and homely feel, is what makes it so captivating to watch for the ordinary American citizen.

About the Writer
Uma Bhat, Staff Writer

A passionate journalist, Uma Bhat, Class of 2021, feels right at home at The GH Falcon. She plans on using her experience from writing for a magazine, as well as her many connections throughout Green Hope, to report on local news, school news, and write editorials. Uma is involved at school as the Director of Simulations in Green Hope’s Model UN, and has leadership positions in clubs such as Badminton and Creative Writing. In her freetime she enjoys reading and listening to bands such as Panic! At The Disco – whom she saw live this past summer. After graduating high school she seeks to pursue a career in Journalism and Social Justice

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Madam Secretary: A Bipartisan Dream