...So Goes the Nation Reviews

  • Oct 11, 2014

    Watched this on an overnight campaign bus trip to Kentucky and Ohio to remind us what is at stake every time we are knocking doors. Grassroots politics is key and without the ground game the candidates suffer. Complete with the important players' perspectives on the 2004 race and how it played out, this is good for anyone interested in politics and power.

    Watched this on an overnight campaign bus trip to Kentucky and Ohio to remind us what is at stake every time we are knocking doors. Grassroots politics is key and without the ground game the candidates suffer. Complete with the important players' perspectives on the 2004 race and how it played out, this is good for anyone interested in politics and power.

  • Apr 23, 2009

    eye-opening doc about the electoral process in the US with ohio during the 04 presidential election serving as a microcosm of the nation as a whole

    eye-opening doc about the electoral process in the US with ohio during the 04 presidential election serving as a microcosm of the nation as a whole

  • Mar 15, 2009

    A great insight into the American political system. I am fascinated with how the Republicans managed to utilise the apathetic republican voters to gain power. It is interesting as it is a tactic you could never use in Australia with its compulsary voting system. Good film.

    A great insight into the American political system. I am fascinated with how the Republicans managed to utilise the apathetic republican voters to gain power. It is interesting as it is a tactic you could never use in Australia with its compulsary voting system. Good film.

  • Sep 27, 2008

    Sad. Really just kicks you in the teeth, and that is not to say it is poorly done. From the interesting (and distressingly), real characters, to the Tubular Bells/Carpenter-esque horror movie score, the thing is quite an experience. It was definitely a picture of that moment in time.

    Sad. Really just kicks you in the teeth, and that is not to say it is poorly done. From the interesting (and distressingly), real characters, to the Tubular Bells/Carpenter-esque horror movie score, the thing is quite an experience. It was definitely a picture of that moment in time.

  • Jul 09, 2008

    When I started to watch this movie I thought it was more about voter fraud than how horrible the Democrats did during the 04 election. I got frustrated watching this movie and we turned it off and watched Simpsons reruns instead.

    When I started to watch this movie I thought it was more about voter fraud than how horrible the Democrats did during the 04 election. I got frustrated watching this movie and we turned it off and watched Simpsons reruns instead.

  • Apr 24, 2008

    Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. For those of us still a little bitter about '04, this documentary can be a little hard to watch, but the lessons are important. A surprisingly even-handed look at how the Bush-Cheney folks got a president who couldn't run on his record reelected and how we Democrats were out-scripted and out-organized.

    Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. For those of us still a little bitter about '04, this documentary can be a little hard to watch, but the lessons are important. A surprisingly even-handed look at how the Bush-Cheney folks got a president who couldn't run on his record reelected and how we Democrats were out-scripted and out-organized.

  • Mar 25, 2008

    One of the best documentaries on politics I have seen. Despite Bush's low popularity rating and failed international and domestic policies, he still managed to win (though the film cleverly narrates the election in such a way that you almost forget Bush actually won until the final minutes). Although it is a slow film, like many documentaries,it nonetheless captures your attention throughout. The editorial argument of the film is that Bush won (Ohio) because the Republicans ran a much better campaign. The Democrats were not very organized and did not have a main message: Bush was strong and had a stable stance while Kerry was the flip-flopping every-man. Kerry's original emphasis on his military service enabled the Republicans to attack his credibility, and instead of defending himself and questioning Bush's branding, ignored the attacks. Republicans exploited negative campaigning while the Democrats did not. In fact, the whole of their national convention was spent lambasting Kerry's character/history rather than his platform. They exploited this characterization by evoking the nation's terror to rally behind the strong-man Bush. Perhaps most significantly, the Republicans also focused on "motivation" vs "persuasion"--they concentrated on bringing out typically apolitical demographics, particularly the evangelicals. They highlighted the possibility of gay marriage and promised to federally ban it (a virtual imposibility). Evoking the horror of homophobes they got out millions of more voters. Even blue collar unionists sacraficed their economic interests to vote on values because of (at least in Ohio) their uncertainty in Kerry and his apparent non-mainstream American identity. The Democrats focused too much time trying to persuade a marginal amount of undecided voters (who the republicans assumed already knew who they'd vote for). The canvassing efforts were also done by a younger demographic with less political experience, without any instructions on the major message, and an out-of-touchness with the "moral majority" of the country. The misunderstanding of conservative values, was ultimately their down fall. Democrats and Kerry were construed as intellectual elitists and Republicans as rich idiots, but in the end, the public sympathised much more with Bush's charisma despite him being an Ivy League yankee as much as kerry. Although the film shows the long lines at blue-voting stations and some discriminatory discourse against Afro-Americans, the greater institutional bias towards the Republicans by Ohio and the electronic voting machines should have been demonstrated. Maybe Kerry ran a horrible campaign, but their was also a lot of sketchiness on election day. Perhaps it will be better to have hade 4 more years of Bush and 4 years of Obama than 8 years of kerry (or 4 years of Kerry and 4 years of another republican)... I recommend reading Haidt on moral psychology of conservs and liberals and Lakoff''s cognitive-linguistics of strict father and nurturant mother

    One of the best documentaries on politics I have seen. Despite Bush's low popularity rating and failed international and domestic policies, he still managed to win (though the film cleverly narrates the election in such a way that you almost forget Bush actually won until the final minutes). Although it is a slow film, like many documentaries,it nonetheless captures your attention throughout. The editorial argument of the film is that Bush won (Ohio) because the Republicans ran a much better campaign. The Democrats were not very organized and did not have a main message: Bush was strong and had a stable stance while Kerry was the flip-flopping every-man. Kerry's original emphasis on his military service enabled the Republicans to attack his credibility, and instead of defending himself and questioning Bush's branding, ignored the attacks. Republicans exploited negative campaigning while the Democrats did not. In fact, the whole of their national convention was spent lambasting Kerry's character/history rather than his platform. They exploited this characterization by evoking the nation's terror to rally behind the strong-man Bush. Perhaps most significantly, the Republicans also focused on "motivation" vs "persuasion"--they concentrated on bringing out typically apolitical demographics, particularly the evangelicals. They highlighted the possibility of gay marriage and promised to federally ban it (a virtual imposibility). Evoking the horror of homophobes they got out millions of more voters. Even blue collar unionists sacraficed their economic interests to vote on values because of (at least in Ohio) their uncertainty in Kerry and his apparent non-mainstream American identity. The Democrats focused too much time trying to persuade a marginal amount of undecided voters (who the republicans assumed already knew who they'd vote for). The canvassing efforts were also done by a younger demographic with less political experience, without any instructions on the major message, and an out-of-touchness with the "moral majority" of the country. The misunderstanding of conservative values, was ultimately their down fall. Democrats and Kerry were construed as intellectual elitists and Republicans as rich idiots, but in the end, the public sympathised much more with Bush's charisma despite him being an Ivy League yankee as much as kerry. Although the film shows the long lines at blue-voting stations and some discriminatory discourse against Afro-Americans, the greater institutional bias towards the Republicans by Ohio and the electronic voting machines should have been demonstrated. Maybe Kerry ran a horrible campaign, but their was also a lot of sketchiness on election day. Perhaps it will be better to have hade 4 more years of Bush and 4 years of Obama than 8 years of kerry (or 4 years of Kerry and 4 years of another republican)... I recommend reading Haidt on moral psychology of conservs and liberals and Lakoff''s cognitive-linguistics of strict father and nurturant mother

  • Mar 10, 2008

    So depressing. Fuck you, Ohio!

    So depressing. Fuck you, Ohio!

  • Feb 26, 2008

    interesting look at the impact of Ohio, and although my candidate didn't win, it showed the state's impact and the issues at hand and what mattered to the candidates.

    interesting look at the impact of Ohio, and although my candidate didn't win, it showed the state's impact and the issues at hand and what mattered to the candidates.

  • Feb 01, 2008

    A nice look at a few of the small pieces that make up the whole election puzzle. Sort of fair to both sides. A little too easy on John Kerry for being a terrible candidate. A little too conspiracy-minded about the Bush win. But the biggest flaw is that it talks like it's the big picture when it's really just a bit of the picture. In that way it lacks the great virtue of Alexandra Pelosi's Journeys with George, which frankly admits and displays the narrowness of its "lens" on the election of 2000. Still, an interesting look at the political process "on the ground."

    A nice look at a few of the small pieces that make up the whole election puzzle. Sort of fair to both sides. A little too easy on John Kerry for being a terrible candidate. A little too conspiracy-minded about the Bush win. But the biggest flaw is that it talks like it's the big picture when it's really just a bit of the picture. In that way it lacks the great virtue of Alexandra Pelosi's Journeys with George, which frankly admits and displays the narrowness of its "lens" on the election of 2000. Still, an interesting look at the political process "on the ground."