Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Thoughts about the American Primaries . . .

I always thought that my family has had a love-hate relationship with politics. I've always felt politics is a necessary evil, but every once in a while someone comes along that inspires and uplifts you by their words and actions. A lot of relatives thought that the Kennedys were idols. I remember pictures of these American men hanging in the cottage, collecting Life magazine featuring the assassinations of both RFK and JFK. I personally read a lot about Robert Kennedy's career and his run for the presidency before he got assassination. I found him to be inspiring, hero-like, someone who believed about raising the lowest common denominator to the sky to become the best someone could be.

My mother and both set of grandparents were very Liberal and were quite vocal about it. I was kicked out of the house for a bit after I announced I voted NDP once when I was younger by my mother. My father is not really into politics. He thinks it's all BS and politicians are all liars and publicity whores. I have found this more and more true this past two decades because there hasn't been anyone inspiring for so long. My father said he was always going to vote the opposite of my mother to negate her vote, which would really piss her off each election.

The latest discussion my parents and I had over X-mas was over the Presidential Primaries in the States. Mum got mad because she thought I should be for Hillary Clinton because she was a woman. Dad got her mad because he was telling her "who cares? It's in the States." I don't think it matters as much as she was making it out to me – we're not American and have no say in what goes on down there. Canadians don't appreciate American interference in domestic affairs, so why should we care what goes on down there? Where it matters is whoever is voted in down there, and you can choose to discount this, but it is true, influences what goes on here. Someone liberal (small L) gets voted in down there and then it becomes the thing to vote for someone liberal up here. It's like liberal ideas are "in vogue" again. When someone conservative gets voted in down there (Bush), it becomes "in" to vote for conservatives up here (Harper).

What makes me interested in this election down there is Barack Obama. He is quite inspirational. His speeches sound so Kennedy-esque or MLK-esque. It's almost poetry. He really buts hope into people. He doesn't sound like he is throwing a lot of bull shit around either. His speech last night after the New Hampshire primary was amazing – the "Yes we can" speech.

A little tidbit on the Daily Show today – I watch last night's Daily Show/Colbert Report on the Comedy Network during the day when I'm not working. David Frum, a Republican advisor for the Giuliani campaign (who is also Barbara Frum's son, a famous Canadian journalist) was on discussing Republican strategy with Jon Stewart. When discussing Mike Huckabee, a very religious guy running for President, they were talking about how the Republican Party recruits ultra-religious evangelicals, but doesn't want them running for President, here is the discussion (paraphrased):

Jon Stewart: It's like the Simpsons (the cartoon). When it comes to it, everyone wants Ned Flanders as a neighbor because he does all the legwork, but they would rather vote for President Homer.

Frum: No one wants a President Homer.

Jon Stewart: We HAVE a President Homer now.

I almost peed my pants laughing so hard.

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