12 October 2020 1924 Views

Michael Keaton for President! Seriously. You know it makes sense.

by James Murphy

I don’t do politics (ok, I do, but..).

I am an expert in Michael Keaton studies. 


We will get to Keaton shortly.

Love his work. I can do a solid impression of his voice / facial gestures (mastered when I was 12, circa Batman Returns; proved a hit in the Dorm so I extended it to include Dogberry from Much Ado About Nothing).

Before more Keaton? Some political /media management context.

I don’t get to vote in the USA’s elections. I am not American. But what happens in that nation has a knock-on impact, worldwide.

I find the collective bashing of Trump to be tiresome. It feeds his fanbase, fuels ego and lacks substance in many cases.

An entire subculture of social media mediocrity merchant has thrived in the last 4 years, under a mantra of Trump = bad. Their time is ending.  

Face facts:

The Donald did not take the world to war; his administration brought North Korea to the table, brokered new peace in the middle east and withdrew from extortionate deals on nuclear power and energy.

All the while boosting the economy via trickle down economics. And I love Ivanka and FLOTUS. 

On the other hand?

Donald is constitutionally illiterate. He signs executive orders like it’s making a coffee. Tweets when he could and should be listening to advice.

Prone to irrational outbursts and short-term policy views which, by their nature, invite scorn and derision. Wilful disregard for science, despite enabling Space Force? Many a mixed message. Deliberately Divisive Donald.

The media/political axis climate, creatively, has suffered, with every second film and television franchise responding to and compounding what they view as a new era of Trump fuelled darkness.

That ‘aint healthy.

Change is coming, it seems. Polls can be wrong but not THAT wrong.

Looks like a Biden/Harris administration is inevitable. And I was no more sold on that than 4 more years of the teenage tweeter in the White House.

Their sole USP is ‘not Trump’?

Biden is, to my mind, a clever careerist posing as Mr Nice (even though yes, he is ‘nice’, he can be Machiavellian).

And the Kamala Harris smile and laugh carry a hint of entitled satisfaction. Despite lacking the grit of Hillary Clinton or the polished charm and appetite for philosophical dialogue of Obama; the Presidency is basically, hers.

Kamala is like an over-eager Bridesmaid, catching an imaginary bouquet before the nuptials have even commenced.

And Joe’s record speaks for itself. Yes, a mostly moderate man. But not quite a ‘Third Way’ philosopher, either. Joe goes with the flow and sometimes, opposed necessary change (notably, in Afghanistan; luckily Secretary Clinton won that argument).

Today? Biden is simply in the right place at the right time. 

This is not some new dawn. Don’t buy into that. Sorry. 

Or at least, that was my unmoving position.

I loathed every self serving inane celebrity anti Trump tweet from mostly B to Z List ‘celebs’, many of whom are not even American. JAMES CORDEN: YOU HAVE NOTHING TO SAY OF ANY INTEREST, ORIGINALITY OR VALUE ON THIS ELECTION. SHURRUP. (imho).

So I was pretty despairing, in fact, for America, regardless of who wins the imminent election.

Or rather, I was..

But then I saw MICHAEL KEATON produce, star and present a mini ad for Biden / a voting reminder in general, released via Twitter, yesterday.

Inspirational stuff. Not so much in the message or purpose as in HOW he does it. Even Trump would be impressed. 

  • Keaton uses humour. ‘why listen to me? I’m friggin’ BATMAN!‘. There is a dash of homely sentiment, as he looks at his boyhood town and the impact of Covid 19.


  • Plenty self effacing, even deprecatory, wit and charm. And yet, substance. He outlines, clearly and concisely, the immediate impact of pandemic mismanagement and a legacy of communities lacking investment or a voice for development.


  • Keaton is no sycophant. His is a measured, objective account, of why Trump, prima facie, has failed, and why Biden thereby earns a chance at proving he can do better. Just like when when Keaton’s Bruce Wayne stood up to Max Shreck in Batman Returns.

Indeed, there is an acknowledgement that some of Biden’s recent theatricality is indeed not ‘him’ and that one ought to look to his older, more natural stances, in evaluating whether he merits the vote.

The whole piece is made all the more worthy by the fact that Keaton was not one for social media in times past.

Sure, he had a Twitter account but it seemed all but dormant, until now.

His was a very private life offscreen and little, if anything is known about the actor also known as Michael Douglas (seriously, that is his real name).

All of that made him, and still makes him a credible Batman, hence viewers looking forward to his next bout in the cowl.

Once you’re done with Batman again, Michael? Try running for office. You would ace it.

Tough. Erudite. Clear. Concise. Warm. Accessible. Earthy. A versatile, imaginative, charismatic, consummate pro. And yes, funny!

You played the President (First Daughter). Your films ‘get’ political culture (Speechless, The Paper). Keaton characters stand up for the little guy in industry (Gung Ho /Multiplicity), whilst maintaining the sheen of high style and glamorous success (a well dressed dude in many a movie).

Mr Smith goes to Washington idealism meets genuine gravitas and occasional menace, even. Leadership, basically.

It is that fusion that defines America. And BATMAN. And indeed, you, Sir.

Keep up the great work. God Bless America and Michael Keaton!

ps: if you don’t do it, Mr Keaton, I have George Clooney on standby speed-dial 😉


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