I had a little bit of fun the other week on Facebook. I saw that many of my friends were posting three photos of fictional characters that they were most like. That caught my attention, so I figured I would play along as well.
I chose Alex P Keaton from Family Ties, Jefferson Smith from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Richie Cunningham from Happy Days.
However, I didn’t break out my entire rationale for each of my three choices. I thought I would expand on that a little bit this week. I know that it is not quite as serious as my last few posts have been, but I thought it might be fun to do a little bit of self-examination with you all as my audience. Also, you probably need to laugh a little bit given the state of our country. Let me try to help you with that.
Alex P. Keaton
I chose Alex P. Keaton because of his ambition. As we progress through several seasons of this 1980s sitcom, we see Alex continually strive to reach the top. He has a hard time accepting that his girlfriend is chosen to be valedictorian over him. He has a hard time when his first college paper returns with an F. He helps his sister Jennifer create an extraordinary middle school project because he wants to essentially use her to continue his tradition of greatness.
I can see these types of tendencies in myself. I work hard, and I want to win. Academic success has always been important to me, and like Alex, I usually have been able to achieve it. However, it is not just by pure happenstance. There is some ambition there to want to excel.
I also would point out that he and I share a strong sense of conviction. Part of the comedy of the show involves the conservative Alex clashing with virtually every other character. Even though he knows that his views are not always popular, he is an undying defender of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and the GOP. In a similar way, I tend to stick to my convictions as well whether they be political or otherwise. If I genuinely believe something, I don’t go down without trying to defend it. Part of that is probably my stubbornness, and I similarly think part of it is just a strong sense of conviction.
As I imagine most of you would agree, I am a firm believer in the idea of objective truth. Therefore, I don’t buy into the postmodern myth that there can be many truths. There were certain times where there is necessarily only one truth, and as such, I’m going to fight for that. If that is my conviction, it does matter to me; it is not some kind of passing whim.
When I heard about this trend, it was a no-brainer Family Ties is one of my favorite TV shows, and I think a large part of that is because I can identify so much with Alex P Keaton.