No. 31: Josh Lyman

Forgive the series of what has been many a West Wing post. I’ve been watching it a lot, and there’s honestly a lot that I am so grateful to this show for.

One of the aspects of this show that I am most grateful for is the cast of characters that encompass the west wing of the White House. They are all rockstars. I love Jed’s devotion to his Catholic religion and his desire to serve the American people, Leo’s ability to lead a capable and talented staff, C.J.’s ability to speak with ease at the press podium, Sam’s writing, Toby’s genius, Donna’s rise from assistant to what she becomes at the end of the series, and everyone else. It could go on and on.

But my favorite character on The West Wing is Josh Lyman. Now to be frank, Josh is absolutely terrible; he makes idiotic statements, can be demeaning to lower level staff, is prone to bouts of selfishness and conceitedness, and is just plain old obnoxious for the majority of the show.

But he’s also amazing. What makes him amazing is his drive. He ran a surprisingly successful presidential campaign based on his gut feeling on who the right candidate for the Democratic nomination was, and he works endlessly episode by episode to push the values he fully believes in. He doesn’t waver for a second when he knows he is right (I’m looking at you, Matt Santos).

I think why I love Josh so much is because of that dichotomy. He’s a complex and dynamic character who has a great moral compass, but who is also deeply flawed and imperfect. I love the humanity Josh exhibits, but most of all, I love his passion. His passion for his job, I believe, is higher than anyone else’s, and it’s at a level which I aspire to get to myself one day. Thank you, Josh. Even though you’re a fictional character, thank you for being just real enough to inspire me with your commitment, focus, and drive.

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