ABC’s Quantico has always walked the fine line between good storytelling and the ridiculous. Prior to its Season 2 spring debut in January 2017, the show was often unrealistic, but featured likable characters and interesting and informative plots.
Since the election and inauguration of President Donald J. Trump, however, the show’s writers seem to have developed the same hysteria as the rest of the mainstream, or should I say “lame-stream” media.
Season 2 started out okay in the fall, with Season 1 favorites Alex Parrish (Priyanka Chopra), Shelby Wyatt (Johanna Braddy), and Ryan Booth (Jake McLaughlin) fighting a terrorist organization recruiting from within the CIA. It was the spring start when things really began to get strange. The second half of Season 2 features an off-the-books black ops organization, led by Clay Haas (Hunter Parrish) and comprised of Alex and her crew, that performs covert operations on U.S. soil, which is illegal. The plotlines have deviated from stopping terrorist attacks and training at “the Farm” (the CIA training facility in Campy Peary, VA) to overtly political and ridiculous efforts to stop “radicals” within the U.S. government from calling a “constitutional convention” to create a super-intelligence agency by combining the FBI and CIA, and enacting a “Muslim registry.”
There is no coincidence that ABC’s writing attempts to mirror real-life events. None of the lame-stream media seems able to resist bashing the new president, his supporters, and conservatives, generally. MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show regularly dredges up conspiracy theories out of the minutiae of “stories” like two pages worth of Donald Trump’s tax returns and the fact that Trump owns a lot of real estate (really? who knew?). And the majority of CNN’s wall-to-wall coverage of the presidency and foreign affairs is negative and non-factual, often bordering on hysterical (just watch this clip from CNN/Tucker Carlson Tonight).
ABC is no exception to this madness. After all, ABC is a Disney-owned company, and anyone familiar with this parent company knows that Disney’s current leadership has strayed far, far away from what Walt Disney intended. Disney has made it a point to push a pro-LGBT agenda, hosting pride parades on Main Street at Disneyland and including an obviously gay character in its recent re-release of Beauty and the Beast. It should come as no surprise, then, that ABC’s primetime shows – Quantico, Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy – regularly feature political messaging that largely favors the the corporation’s liberal agenda.
President Trump has called for a travel ban (emphasis on the word “travel,” not “Muslim”) against travel to/from countries known for terrorism. Mark Levin, a popular conservative radio and television personality and constitutional lawyer, as well as some tea party activists, have called for a convention of the states, not a “constitutional convention” as it is (incorrectly) called on Quantico, to amend the Constitution (see this CNS News interview w/ Mark Levin for more info). They even bring the Russians into the discussion! The parallels between what Alex and her crew fight against and what the news media accuse the Trump administration of on a nightly basis are unmistakable.
ABC takes these facts and twists them into preposterous storylines about rogue conspirators working to gain control of the U.S. government, register Muslims, and amend the Constitution to fit their “racist, fascist” political agenda. Yes, I am quoting from Season 2, Episode 9. This is the exact language used by the (actual) fascists blocking free speech on college campuses across the country.
The saddest part of all this is not just the decline in the quality of American entertainment. The saddest thing about this phenomenon is the depressing truth that the uninformed will absorb these plotlines and interpret them as a meaningful reflection of what is going on in the world. ABC is well within their rights to tell any story they choose in whatever way they choose to tell it. However, if a conservative media outlet had done the same thing to the Obama administration all hell would have broken loose and the show would have been pulled from the air (à la Last Man Standing).
There is such a thing as responsibility in the production of news and entertainment media. These storylines are not only ludicrous and uninteresting, they are damaging to the very fabric of the nation because they validate these absurd accusations. By twisting facts and describing groups of individuals in emotionally-charged terms such as “racist” and “fascist,” ABC is contributing to the caustic and polarized political climate. They are cheapening the value of their brand and joining the ranks of those who wave signs claiming, “love trumps hate,” but who actually demonstrate hate by way of their irresponsible accusations and, in this case, storytelling.
In the Season 2 finale, Alex urges her fellow countrymen to “Resist. Fight back…that’s what I did and will always do…” I urge you to do the opposite. I urge you to listen, truly listen, to one another and find the common ground that exists in any situation. We all face the same problems: we need a stable job, we seek peace and security for our families, and we desire to conduct our lives in safety, free from an ever-present existential threat of terrorism. What divides us and prevents us from attaining these goals is the bickering, the name-calling, and the personal attacks that are flung to and fro by Right and Left.
Every week that ABC uses its platform to call people like me, Christian conservatives, “racist” or “fascist” simply because we believe in different solutions to common problems is another week that the country remains deeply fractured. And, in the words of President Abraham Lincoln, a “house divided against itself cannot stand.”
The Roman Empire was not destroyed by foreign enemies; it was destroyed from within by competing factions and political unrest. Our greatest threat does not come from outside, from ISIS or China, or even North Korea. Our greatest threat as a country comes from within, from the vast divide that exists between republican and democrat, Christian and relativist, rich and poor.
Only when we stop throwing stones at one another will we be able to achieve the lofty dreams this country was founded upon: freedom, justice, and the pursuit of happiness.