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Cast Away Like Hanks

The government is Wilson, and we the people are Tom Hanks

Lately, I feel like the Republicans and Democrats of our country are getting further and further away from each other than ever before. For some reason, when I think of our government in this context, I think of the movie Castaway with Tom Hanks. To me, the American people are Tom Hanks on the raft, and our government is Wilson. (For those who haven’t seen the movie, Wilson is a volleyball that Hanks draws a face on and starts talking to after being stranded in a shipwreck; they begin on a desolate island but eventually, Hanks decides to make a raft and try to get home). I make that comparison because Hanks creates Wilson like the American people created our government, and he puts his trust in Wilson that he’ll be supported by him. When Wilson falls off the raft and starts to drift away, Hanks tries so hard to save him, just like we the people reach out to our government expecting them to drift back and help us. Like Hanks, we try to elect the right people to advise, guide and warn the American people, but all we get back is a government that stares at us with a blank smile and makes no effort to come back to the raft.

In the end, the government will leave us like Hanks left the island and like Wilson left Hanks. As Wilson drifts away, we the people will even shout out “Wilson, I’m sorry!” over and over, holding onto that last measly scrap of hope that he’ll come back for us. It makes me think of how disabled people are also so regularly left behind by our government, yet as a community, we would never just drift away from each other. We all need to be better at supporting each other when there are huge differences between us, no matter how blank of a stare we might get back from those who are supposed to be helping us.

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