We don’t always agree on the happenings in the entertainment community, and we like to make our beefs public. The role of Commander In Chief is a hard enough job without having to fight Russian terrorists and aliens, but which movie president represented our country to the fullest? Fight!
President James Marshall
When comparing these two characters, the knee-jerk reaction is to side with President Thomas J. Whitmore from Independence Day. After all, he led the final battle against an alien invasion and saved the human race from extinction. But if one stops and ponders President Whitmore’s actions for more than 30 seconds, you can’t help but come to the conclusion that Whitmore is an incompetent fool. In fact, I’m going to come right out and say it. If President James Marshall from Air Force One had been president during the alien invasion, millions, if not billions of lives would have been spared. The fact of the matter is that unlike Whitmore, President Marshall isn’t afraid to make the hard choices.
Obviously, President Whitemore is a brave man. And I have no choice to concede that he faced a much tougher opponent. But since both men faced radically different situations, all we can do is judge each of their reactions in the face of adversity.
Let’s start with Whitemore. When aliens showed up at our doorstep and began positioning their ships atop every major city in the world, how did he react to this blatant threat? Did he immediately launch an attack? Did he fire up the nuclear missiles? Did he, at the very least, order an evacuation of our major cities? No. He told everyone to stay put, and sent up a helicopter equipped with some pretty lights to make contact with our new “friends.” Guess what happened? They shot down the chopper, and then destroyed every city on the planet in a raging inferno. Anyone who was dumb enough to listen to Whitmore ended up a charred piece of meat at the hands of our new alien overlords.
Hey, we all make mistakes. At least Whitmore then realized that the aliens we’re out for blood and that it was time to bring out the nukes, right? Wrong. Even after the genocidal attack on our beloved Earth, Whitmore still refused to launch the nukes. He even went as far as to try and reason with a captured alien P.O.W. It was only after he was personally attacked by said alien that he decided to give the nukes a try. Many of you will bring up the fact that the nuclear attack did not work. You’re missing the point. Whitmore was too much off an ideologue to even consider using our most powerful weapons, even when faced with our race’s extinction. And when he finally decided to “nuke the bastards,” it was for personal reasons. Once the alien hurt his pride, he was more than happy to throw his “principles” to the wind. If that’s not grounds for impeachment, I don’t know what is.
Now, let’s look at President James Marshall. Again fighting eastern European terrorists is a cakewalk compared to dealing with a massive alien invasion, but let’s not forget that when Air Force One was hijacked, Marshall and his family had their lives on the line. After all, Gary Oldman is nothing to fuck with. But how did Marshall react? Did he pussyfoot around and try to negotiate with the terrorists? Did he take his chance and evacuate when he had the chance? No. He chose to stay with his family, he immediately started kicking ass and taking names, and he wasn’t afraid to use all of the tools at his disposal to get the job done. Unlike Whitmore, Marshall understands that sometimes you have to make tough choices. That’s why, when push came to shove, Marshall ordered his own planes to fire a missile at Air Force One in order to knock his captors off guard. He knew the plane would take evasive maneuvers, but there was no guarantee that he, his family, and everyone on board wouldn’t be killed. But despite the risk, he knew it was his only option. As such, he manned up and made a choice.
In the end, Marshall took back the plane, killed the terrorists and saved his wife and daughter. What happened to Whitmore’s wife. Oh yeah; she fucking died. Advantage, Marshall. Case closed.
President Thomas Whitmore
Your president had to fend off Russian terrorists on his expansive, comfortable jet. Hmmm, that’s nice. We should discuss it over a couple of boba teas sometime. But for right now, let me lay out how in Independence Day President James Whitmore had to rid the world of ALIENS. That’s right, beastly creatures from another planet with no other desire than to eliminate the human race. It’s wasn’t just Whitmore’s family and cabinet turning to him for an answer; it was the entire damn United States of America. Gary Oldman in a goatee suddenly doesn’t seem so intimidating.
There is no contingency plan for aliens. At least not the kind of aliens that cross the border of Earth. When terrorists attack our homeland, government officials abide by certain rules that have been put into place. Mainly, the U.S. does not negotiate with terrorists. It would be nice to have even something as simple as that to repeat to the aliens ad nauseam, but no. President Whitmore didn’t have a guide or a congressman to consult about extra terrestrial invasions procedures. Not that it would have mattered if he did considering the aliens in the ID4 communicate telepathically. He had no prior experiences or tactics to go off of for a basis for his decisions. Imagine arguing a case in court without the precedent of previous rulings. Now imagine staving off dreadlocked aliens without ever having met one outside of the sci-fi fan fiction you think I don’t know you write.
As far as Whitmore’s hesitancy using nuclear weapons goes, thank God he doesn’t have an itchy trigger finger like you. I appreciate you taunting him like a schoolyard bully, though. Perhaps with a more stringent upbringing he would have jumped right to pounding his fist on the launch button. Why try to find a peaceful resolution when you can skip to blowing everything the fuck up? How impulsive of you to suggest such extreme measures. He’s the Commander In Chief for a reason – he’s pragmatic when others are impetuous. The way you paint him, you make it sound as if he should be the Secretary of Defense, not the Secretary of Defense’s boss. Whitmore proved he is a man of action by at first showing his restraint. He tried reasoning. He tried understanding. He didn’t immediately order Def Con 5 like he wasn’t gambling with 6 billion lives.
Finally, at the end the film, Whitmore joined the front lines alongside his people and flew a goddamn fighter jet around those alien pieces of shit like he was Maverick in Top Gun. He pissed full blast into a hurricane while your guy merely dribbled into a breeze. So to summarize, in the case of Marshall v. Whitmore, the jury finds Whitmore guilty of being more bad-ass. Court is adjourned.