For others, it’s an impressionable event or person that makes an impact at a particularly influential time for a young person. Some people recall wars or social protests, while others recall encounters with law enforcement or people of political consequence shaping their embryonic political brains.
In the cases of William S. Preston and Theodore Logan, time travel was the primary shaper of their political consciences.
When a gentleman named Rufus unexpectedly entered their lives at a San Diemus Circle K in the mid 1980s, Bill and Ted were down and out, struggling to pay attention at school and instead concentrating on their sole passion – the arts, and, more specifically, music.
All this changed when they were whisked away by Rufus’ time-travelling phone booth, beginning an excellent adventure that would have them visit several influential figures in history, who would collectively help to determine Bill and Ted’s political outlook.
Their time with Napoleon ensured they appreciated military protectionism. Likewise, the influence of Ghengis Khan and Joan D’arc solidified Bill and Ted’s mentality of putting their families’ interests first and being proud in the virtues of their nation.
Billy The Kid’s influence bred in them a cynicism of big government. The more time they spent with Mr The Kid, the more they thought, “This guy isn’t so bad. He’s a great American – why are we spending so much time and effort chasing guys like this, when the real bad guys are the fat cats on Capitol Hill, looking after their own interests and not those of the rest of us?”
This heady cocktail of political influence led Bill and Ted toward one logical end point – the Tea Party.
Hardly anti-intellectual individuals (their lengthy time spent with Socrates having ensured a strong understanding of democracy), Bill and Ted see the Tea Party as the movement most likely to develop an America they agree with; one which is at once intensely focused on the military, critical of over-governing and strongly patriotic. While they do not share some of the more overzealous evangelical tenets of the far right, if their trip through time taught them one thing, it was that opportunism is a virtue. They perceive that now is the moment to clean house in American politics and return to a much simpler time – one which their friends and travel companions enjoyed and showed to them through their senior history examination.
If Freud taught them one thing, it was that the collective subconscious is a force not to be reckoned with… and they both feel the dust blowing in the winds of change.
Long gone are the days when the Wyld Stallions rode aimlessly in search of the next musical challenge. Their slacker pasts behind them, Bill and Ted now find Rick Perry’s pending nomination for the Republican Party ticket as exciting as a day at Waterloo with their partner in crime, N. Bonaparte.
The perverse pretence of “being excellent to each other” has never rung so empty in the land of the free.