Matt Morosky's Take on John Lennon
I personally believe strongly that music has a certain power to heal and bring about change. As far as having the ability to save lives, I'd be careful in how I would argue that point, but I could never say that it couldn't do it because I'm sure there are plenty of people who feel that music has saved their lives. As far as it being a niche for dissaffected youth, I think that it is much more grand than that. Music speaks to all people of all races or all genders and of all generations. I also felt that as a reporter, Gloria Emerson was awful to Lennon. It almost looked as if it were a persoanl attack for something he'd done to her or something.
The ability to actually change certain policy is so extremely difficult when up against the likes of absolute power such as President Nixon during that era. Clearly the people voted him in and he won by a vast majority, but music did bring about a lot of interest and focus to what the United States' government was doing. I don't feel that jis legacy is tarnished one bit because of the continuence of the war. He did what he felt needed to be done as an artist and I think it actually helps keep his legacy intact.
As far as the government feeling threatened by Lennon, I think that it's a great representation of the paranoia of the entire Nixon administration. They obviously knew he was a powerful pop culture icon and were worried that he would get in the way of their interests and that's why they had him followed as the film states. It clearly got to Lennon as well, as he says that he was scared in the film. They had his phones tapped, had him followed; to me, this is absolutely un American completely unwarrented. Protesting and questioning the government are two things that should be in the make up of all American's and I feel that Nixon's privated assault on Lennon was horrible, especially the deportation events. Questioning the government and their policies is something that makes an American an American. What Liddy and Nixon did by branding the leftists as un American is quite similar to what happened with Karl Rove and President Bush after the invasion of Iraq and the patriotism questions that would float around to those who disagreed. It's a nasty political tactic that can really ruin people.
I believe strongly that we as citizens have every right to speak out against the government. I find it so ironic that both President's Nixon and George W. Bush, members of a polical party that prides itself on smaller government and states rights, used this "shut up or get out" tactic. THAT kind of mindset is horribly un American. The ability to question and hold government accountable for their actions is the right of every legal citizen in the great country.