It's a story of an aging mafia player whose hold on power is not all it seems. Wes Mitchell, one of the authors of the report: ï¿½You see the Don and he is emblematic of a declining hegemon. The movie opens showing his power and then you find out his power is declining in the next few scenes.ï¿½ The authors assert that the assassination plot is a metaphor for America's decline in recent years: ï¿½the parallel between the small power who shoots the Don at the fruit stand is with what happened to the US in 9/11. it then seeks into the three sons that there's a need for a response to this new threat.ï¿½ It's the different responses which is central to the metaphor for America's foreign policy, according to WM: ï¿½His sons come into the scene and show parallels to the three major lines of thinking of American foreign policy: neo-cons who use military strength to maintain power, the backroom diplomat and lawyer who sees the reality of decline who represents the liberal institutionalist, and then the key figure who understands power, representing the realist. At the moment we've got the first two but the tragedy is there is no third. Obama thinks America is still the power at the table with the leverage at the table. McCain has strong Sonny tendencies and might reach for the military tool. I think for either candidate, they'll realize those two approaches are broken and they'll need to be realistic.ï¿½ This metaphor does have its limits, namely many people are uncomfortable comparing the US to a New York crime syndicate.