Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches
How we cite our quotes:
Martin: It's really the end of Liberalism. The end of New Deal Socialism. (2.6.2)
Here's a core political debate you still hear today. Liberals and Democrats tend to favor government-sponsored programs to solve the nation's woes, while conservatives and Republicans would prefer to let the free market sort itself out. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt is the poster boy for the liberal agenda. His Depression era "New Deal" policies were a liberal's dream and a conservative's nightmare. Click here for some Shmoopy thoughts on FDR and the New Deal.
Roy: This is... this is gastric juices churning, this is enzymes and acids, this is intestinal is what this is, bowel movement and blood-red meat – this stinks, this is politics, Joe, the game of being alive. (2.6.67)
Throughout the play, one of the main points is that everything is politics. Tony Kushner made his mark as a playwright by being the first in many years to make political issues a main focus of his plays. Critic Frank Rich called Angels in America "a searching and radical rethinking of American political drama..." (source).
Louis: Why does the power that was once so carefully preserved at the top of the pyramid by the original framers of Constitution seem drawn inexorably downward and outward in spite of the best effort of the Right to stop this? (3.2.2)
Despite all his criticism of the way America is being run, Louis is optimistic that the America he envisions is constantly gaining ground. From his point of view, the poor and disenfranchised (women, racial minorities) have inevitably gained more power, despite the resistance they've met from conservatives along the way.