Dave is a 1993 film about an affable temp agency owner with an uncanny resemblance to the U.S. President. To avoid a potentially explosive scandal when the President goes into a coma, Dave is put in his place. This scene is a wonderful moment when Dave acts upon his determination to no longer be managed, told what to do by threat or intimidation but to do the right thing. Here is a quote from the movie that suits our purposes:
I forgot that I was hired to do a job for you and that it was just a temp job at that. I forgot that I had two hundred and fifty million people who were paying me to make their lives a little better and I didn’t live up to my part of the bargain. See, there are certain things you should expect from a President. I ought to care more about you than I do about me… I ought to care more about what’s right than I do about what’s popular. I ought to be willing to give this whole thing up for something I believe in.
Watching this movie clip is like the taxpayers of Rocky Mount watching the Budget Meetings live, or imagining our City Council and appropriate city employees, gathered together in a room making decisions for the welfare of the community. Not everyone is expected to be brilliant in all matters, but we expect everyone to keep up with the current research into urban planning/revitalization in communities like ours. Research that show what works or hasn’t. What should be funded and defunded. It is no longer tolerable that this kind of information is ignored in favor of a elected few who make decisions for private gain.
Since city employees are not to approach councilmen unless summoned, their expertise is basically ignored as well. The perception is that employees have to acquiesces or lose their jobs. Indeed, many have been run off for daring to question how things are done. Today we know a lot more about how this has happened and why. We know who is gaining at the expense of others. WE THE CITIZENS must continue to declare “enough!” We have only ourselves to blame if we don’t figure out how to come together and put a stop to these few who govern at the cost of many. The taxpayers are being held hostage in this power struggle between right and wrong. (Don’t lose sight of the fact that Mr. Rose works for the City Council not for us.) My question: Should we hire a knight in shining armor to gallop onto the field baring a banner that says – The End of Shenanigans? I don’t know. What I do know is a good man like DAVE, who took a stand for doing the right thing, in reality is us.