By Thomas E. Woods Jr.
Thomas E. Woods, Jr., presents an eloquent security of the politically divisive topic of nullification, a treatment utilized by states opposed to unconstitutional federal energy grabs.
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Extra info for Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century
Saratoga Trunk also features a central male character that functions as a metaphor for the national character. Although the film is not a western it shares thematic concerns and binary structure with the genre, but the link with the western is clearest in the iconography employed in constructing the central male character, Clint Maroon (Gary Cooper). Clint is every inch the western hero. Dressed in cowboy boots, white pants, fancy tie and ten gallon hat, Clint’s visual signification draws heavily on the familiar iconography of the western gambler or hustler; a frontier hero who makes his living not on the range but through his wits at the card table and speed on the draw in the small towns of the mythical west.
Here class status is based on wealth rather than birth, so that it is possible for individuals to gain access to the highest reaches of the class stratum through the acquisition of wealth, through success in business. So although it is class stratified, Saratoga society, with the possibilities it provides for upward class mobility, is more democratic than that of New Orleans. Saratoga Springs presents a more modern vision of a class stratified society, based on entrepreneurial or commercial success rather than outmoded notions of aristocracy, and this again reinforces its sense of American-ness.
Homer Parrish (Harold Russell) represents the other end of a spectrum of middle-class-ness, the respectable lower middle-class. Fred is excluded from the continuum between Al and Homer, being constructed as neither professionally successful nor morally respectable. What ultimately enables Fred to gain access to middleclass status, and thereby enables the film to promulgate the myth of classlessness, is the development of a relationship between Fred and Al’s daughter, Peggy (Teresa Wright). Although the pursuit of this relationship involves breaking up Fred's marriage, and so risks Fred’s 34 HOLLYWOOD GENRES AND POSTWAR AMERICA continued exclusion from a position of middle-class respectability, great care is taken in the film to construct Peggy's character as thoroughly respectable and to strike a contrast between her character and Fred’s sexually promiscuous wife, Marie (Virginia Mayo).