When I was a kid watching Family Ties, Alex P. Keaton was my hero. I wanted to be Alex when I grew up. I wanted to be a republican. This was no more a decision based on political belief than my 80s-era hatred of Communism, but, nevertheless, it’s interesting to look back and see how much that TV show did shape my malleable child’s opinion at the time. Alex was ambitious, an over-achiever and smart. I wanted to be like that. But the latter bit, being smart, in some way negates Alex’s current ability to participate in the GOP. Intellect has become a dirty word, and those with knowledge a dangerous commodity. It is as if, somewhere in the 90s, poor Alex was subsumed by Forrest Gump as the lovable embodiment of conservatism. Sure, Forrest comes off like an open minded fellow, but at the end of the day he is told.