My Definition Of "Was" Is "Was Never"

Many people I know only watch torrented TV shows, but not me. Even though I'm a proponent of torrents, I still watch regular television quite a bit. And as a Canadian, that means the biggest topic I see now is the upcoming American election.


Bill Clinton giving his famous speech.

I recently watched Bill Clinton give his long speech endorsing Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention and it was really something. I agree with the sentiment that it's making some people miss Clinton but I'm sure it was eloquent enough to convince many people that Obama is the next best thing.

Now of course he criticizes Romney's campaign - anything less would not be a full endorsement of Obama. And of course he gets the crowd to cheer - people always preach to the choir at these conventions. But the hallmark of a good speaker is saying unexpected things even when the audience has spent weeks forming expectations. Two great Canadians who are able to do this are David Suzuki and Stephen Lewis.

The most striking feature of Clinton's speech is his praise for some past Republicans - Eisenhower, Reagan, Bush Sr and even Bush Jr. He says that some of the greatest progress that has been made happened because members of the two parties worked together and mentions that Republican Bob Inglis shared this philosophy before he was replaced. A speaker this charismatic could've still garnered support for Obama if he made a speech that reeked of partisanship. The stand he took against it really spoke to me. Politics can definitely be a zero sum game if the leader of a country wants it that way. Shooting down another party's bill every time just because and spending each administration undoing what the last administration did, is a great way to mistreat citizens. So is forcing every party member to cast the same vote because "it's us versus them" rather than celebrating individuality. If Americans did this, they'd find themselves in the same mess as Canada.

I'm sure everyone paid attention to this speech because Bill Clinton used to be the President, but outside of politics he is even more respectable. He has a long history of humanitarian involvement, was awarded more musical scholarships that academic scholarships (he was a Rhodes scholar by the way), he received a JD from Yale and more recently became a vegan. I saw his episode on Elvis Costello's talk show during which he did not talk about politics. That is a talk show for musicians and he is an avid enough musician to talk about jazz insightfully for half an hour. To me, the most objectionable thing that Bill Clinton did was define marriage as the union between a man and a woman. However, he seems to have changed his mind about that one.

The Democrats appear most likely to win this election. Four years ago, the Republican Vice-Presidential candidate deflected negative attention away from the Presidential one; but this year, I think Mitt Romney is getting more. First of all, his devout Mormon faith is an election issue. The public perception of "The Cult of Latter Day Saints" is almost as bad as that of Scientology. Second, there is the harmless joke that got blown out of proportion. And as the media keeps saying, his campaign only has two problems: not enough black voters and not enough female voters. If we broaden the scope to Romney's party members, there were some comments that were not misogynist but still horribly ignorant and deserving of impeachment. So I don't think Obama will have any trouble winning.

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