Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Topics: United States Senate, Senate, Political boss Pages: 2 (719 words) Published: October 14, 2001
"Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" Mr. Smith was too naive to survive as a senator during the time the movie "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" took place. Mr. Smith's naiveté was most evident in his ambitious proposal to start a national boys camp. However, when false allegations regarding Mr. Smith's motives for starting the camp surfaced, Smith was too idealistic to defend himself from the political machine that accused him of acting in self-interest. Making matters worse, Senator Smith was a genuinely honest and simple-minded man, making it difficult for him to survive among his scheming colleagues.

Senator Smith clearly demonstrated his lack of government experience and overall ignorance of the Senate's character when he ambitiously struggled to create a national boy's camp. When Smith asked his secretary, Clarissa Saunders, to help him assemble the bill aimed at forming a boy's camp, Saunder's explained that the bill was very unlikely to be successful in the Senate and tried to discourage Smith from proceeding on the bill.

However, Senator Smith was determined to introduce his bill despite the grim prospects of its ratification, and refused to step back and take a passive role in the Senate. Historically, however, Senators in Smith's time and position would not have taken on such an ambitious project as a new Senator. In fact, most new Senators would have relied on the opinions of the older and more experienced Senators to help them make their voting decisions. This was evident when Senator Paine told Senator Smith that he would tell Smith how he should vote on any given bill. This docility and willingness to vote according to the older Senators was most likely caused by the new Senators' fear of the political bosses. Mr. Smith, however, was sheltered from knowing that the political bosses even existed and, as a result, was not afraid to stand up for his beliefs. Mr. Taylor, a typical political boss of Smith's time, had extreme power in his state and was...
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