I WATCHED an episode of Zorro on Disney’s cable channel recently. Being the Zorro aficionado that I am, I pulled out my video of the Tyrone Power classic The Mark of Zorro afterwards and watched it.
As I watched the movie, I began to feel as if there were something familiar about this storyother than the fact that I knew the dialogue almost verbatim. The scene in which the young de la Vega learned that his father, a wealthy landowner and nobleman, had been deposed as the Alcalde of Los Angeles reminded me of somethingof what I could not be sure.
For those unfamiliar with the movie, after deposing de la Vega, the new Alcalde raised the taxes of the peons in order to make them "more industrious." There was something familiar about this concept of raising taxes to create wealth and help the economy. Something a Democratic senator from South Dakota said.
Actually the Alcalde was enriching himself at the taxpayers’ expense. This was illustrated in a subsequent scene in which the Alcalde is admiring a bantam owned by a peon. The Alcalde asks the price of the bird. When the peon tells him it is not for sale, the Alcalde threatens to review his tax obligations. The terrified peon then makes "a gift" of the rooster to the Alcalde.
Once again there was an analogy here, I was sure. I seem to recall during the last administration an Indian tribe being told to make a gift to the Democratic Party so they can get some land or some permit or have something reviewed by the Interior Department.
Observing these outrages, young de la Vega is determined to right these injustices and to restore his father as Alcalde. He assumes the identity of Zorro, goes about stealing the tax money collected from the peons by the government, and returns it to the people.
This concept of returning taxes to the people was reminiscent of a speech made by a candidate during the last election. I just could not remember whom.
It finally came to me when Zorro, in the guise of a monk, is hiding in the mission. There the beautiful young niece of the evil Alcalde is praying to escape the depressing environs of the Pueblo de Los Angeles. She was sent there to live with her uncle, sort of like an intern, but there were no young men her age to associate with. Thinking Zorro was a priest; she confided in him that she had been thinking of entering a convent. Zorro tells her that a beautiful young woman should be married and have children.
That is when I realized what was familiar about this plot. Zorro is a conservative. If he had been a liberal, Zorro would have seduced the young woman; and if she got pregnant, counseled her to get an abortion as well.
It all made sense now. The evil Alcalde subjugates the caballeros. He oppressively taxes the peopleostensibly for their own goodbut in reality to empower himself.
Zorro wants the tax money returned to the peoplejust like President Bush.
My theory was reinforced in subsequent scenes. When the parish priest is arrested for refusing to pay the mission taxes, I was reminded of the liberal mantra of separation of church and state. When Zorro finally leads the caballeros in a revolt against the Alcalde, I recalled the 1994 elections when the Democrats lost control of Congress for the first time in a generation.
Now, I am sure that my opinion will come as a shock to the Hollywood producers of the most recent Zorro movie. However, the evidence is irrefutable. Zorro is championing the cause of the people, rich and poor, against liberals bent on profiting from excessive taxation. Zorro leads the revolt against an expansive government.
The last President created new taxes by executive order. Some federal courts create legislation. "W " and his conservative allies in congress represent the bulwark against this everexpansive government liberalism.
Unfortunately, unlike Zorro, the conservative revolution in the Senate seems to have wavered. Maybe Trent Lott and his Senate colleagues should see the old Zorro movie. Maybe they can draw some inspiration from it. Maybe they can use some of Zorro’s ideas.
I can just see "W" now, with mask and cape, riding a white horse up the steps of the Capitol buildingcarving a "W" on the door of Alcalde Daschle’s office.