Earlier this week, David Brooks, in the Times, worried that we don’t build enough impressive monuments, ones that properly project the power of the leader in the manner of Jefferson’s memorial, or Lincoln’s. Brooks thought that big statues might help with what he called America’s “followership problem.” This does not, as one might guess, consist of Americans blindly going along, in awe of the shiny and the rich, without thinking for themselves; quite the opposite. Brooks argues that we don’t defer enough, that we question “just authority” much too much, and aren’t sufficiently “grateful” for the leadership of élites. This seems exactly wrong—the sort of logic that gets you looped up with vampires.
Could this movie teach Americans something about history and democracy?