Saturday, February 23, 2008

In which I stop wondering how Bush won the presidency

Note: this post is just MY opinion. It's based on observations, conversations and some research. I apologize if anything I write offends you.

For the first time in my life, I've become fascinated with an election. Ironically, it's not even being held in Canada. But like many others I find myself paying attention to the lead-up to the American elections, primarily because of Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Let me begin by saying that if I had a choice, I'd vote Obama. And I'd encourage my friends to do the same.

I have struggled with politics and especially politicians since learning about them in high school. Even to my teenage self they all seemed the same: false, self-serving people who were looking to get ahead without care or concern for the people voting them into power. Sounds harsh, but when you look at the state of North America today, seeing so many people struggling to make ends meet every week, or waiting for 8 hours to see a doctor - things are not good. And the people who've been in charge of our world and our politics for the last 30 years are largely responsible for this.

For the first time, I clicked on a link from an article about Mr. Obama to hear part of a speech he was giving in Houston. I've liked his statements and what I've read about him, and wanted to see if he appeared to be truthful while speaking about the changes he wants to bring.

43 minutes later, I couldn't believe I'd listened to his entire speech. He's gifted in front of a crowd, emphasizing certain words, and explaining himself clearly without appearing to struggle. (Far cry from Dubya's difficulty pronouncing words like "nuclear").

Again, it's ironic that I even care about this, considering I'm not an American.

To decide the reality behind politicians, I usually figure that about 1/3 of what they say is actually true. Even if that's the case with Obama, I'd STILL vote for him. I honestly believe he has something special and can help heal our neighbouring country. They need it badly. The war in Iraq has damaged the worldview of America more than people here realize. When I lived in the UK, every person I met had something horrible to say about Bush and "those idiots who voted him into power". Their words, not mine. Usually, I responded by saying that people in North America generally disagreed with the Bush administration's politics, and that hopefully the next election would bring about change for them. Every time I mentioned being a Canadian, people responded with a derogatory comment about the Americans.

That bothered me (and still does) because many people south of our border are fantastic, hard-working, and good people who certainly don't deserve what people overseas are saying about them.

I hope that when they do finally pull out of Iraq that it won't be in 100 years (as McCain said he sees happening), and that the next American president will work to help them build their country back without pushing our Western ideals on them. It's not our place to force our political (or any other) systems on people who live in a different country. Yes, I believe that we can share what we've learned with them, and encourage certain ideals - like a democracy where people can vote and have freedom of speech and religion - but there is a boundary that can be crossed all too easily, causing war and oppression instead of peace and democracy.

After the debate between Obama and Clinton on Tuesday, I read several articles that discussed how friendly they were with each other, only using random little jabs, but mainly playing nice. I thought that was strange, since both of them speak more strongly in front of their supporters.

Both campaigns have used mailers (junk mail to most of us - explaining their political platforms and bashing those of their opponents) to emphasize the differences in their policies. Apparently one of these mailers from Obama quoted a newspaper that said Hilary supported the NAFTA agreement. She got mad, newspapers jumped in with their opinions, another newspaper called Obama's statement misleading, and the whole issue got very confusing. Regardless of what is actually true, we know that she supported the free trade agreement, as did Bill Clinton (easy to verify online) - but she is now vehemently denying this fact.

Her response to this (allegedly several days after the offending mailers were sent out) has been a furious attack on her fellow Democrat, during which she first compared him to George W. Bush, then:

After the talk, she continued to take the fight to Obama while talking to reporters, displaying two of Obama's direct mail attack pieces, which she called “blatantly false” and claimed that his rhetoric doesn’t match reality.

"Let's have a real campaign,” she said, her anger palpable. “Enough with the speeches and the big rallies... Shame on you Barack Obama... Meet me in Ohio. Let's have a debate about your tactics and your behavior in this campaign.”

At a press conference later in the day, Obama said the mailers are accurate and that he's puzzled why Clinton is raising them now, since they have been around for at least several days.

"It makes me think there is something tactical about her getting so exercised this morning," Obama said in Columbus, Ohio. "Sen Clinton as part of the Clinton administration supported NAFTA. In her book, she called it one of the administration’s successes."

After reading this, I couldn't wait to get to the comments, since the political articles usually draw a strong response. These are always entertaining, with at least three or four absolute nutters adding their two cents in. This time they must have banded together because there were a LOT more than normal.

Just look at this:
Are we ready to have all blacks in the Streets if Osama..i mean Obama gets the presidency?...Imagine if O.J. was declared innocent after a DNA that said "ONE in a billion would want those people deads"...what we can expect of deads by Blacks? I had a Dream...
that was about a black never been a President of USA
as God told me in my Dream.
- Larry Allen, Miami, Florida

or this:
She's right, guys. Voting for Obama means voting for George W. Bush, Part II. Like a true leader, Hillary's taken the high road through this whole campaign. Unlike Obama, she doesn't use dry humor and sarcasm to distract voters. With Hillary Clinton, what you see is what you get. And it's lookin' pretty good to me.
- Brian Masck, Flushing, Michigan
(Just a quick note to people who don't know about American politics: Bush is a Republican and Obama is a Democrat - not sure how they could be the same when they support such different politics - but I guess everybody's entitled to their opinion)

Then a CANADIAN from my hometown of Sudbury (still can't believe this) wrote:
I question Obama's fundraising. I think Oprah Winfrey is doing something behind the scenes to funnel millions of dollars to Obama. I feel there is something fishy going on.
- Gus Cacciotti, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

I think the phrase WTF applies here...

There are at least a half dozen comments playing on Obama's name - marking it's similarity to Osama. Pretty damn sad, and any person who is bothered by the fact that their names sound alike needs to give their head a shake.

Then, there's people like this:
Hell no I won't vote for anyone with the middle name of "Hussien".It might as well be Hitler! I am not fooled by anybody he has a silver tongue and can flash a pretty smile if necessary, and for Michele Obama she is too "street" for me. At least Mrs. Clinton has been a Christian her whole life and knows she was put on earth to serve. Nobody is perfect but I am not ready for A newcomer to be President and have Michele as first woman (as her remarks do not suggest she is much of a lady).
- Denis

Heehee, this one just makes me laugh, cause apparently somebody felt strongly enough to write in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS!
(I guess I'm INMATURE for laughing at this)

I have been trying really hard to find a ridiculous one bashing Hillary - all the funny people are busy trashing Obama - other than calling she and Bill "Billary" and complaining about her own bad decisions and policies, nothing that's made me laugh yet. I'll keep looking and promise to post one as soon as I find it though - cause this is really looking one-sided (despite me already saying that I would support Barack, not Hillary).

And - to explain the blog title - it's people like this next guy who MUST be the reason that good ol' Dubya got to run their country (into the ground) for 8 years:

- William Caruso, Clark, NJ

Well, as a proud "weoman", I hope both the USA and Canada have many opportunities in the future to see a female name on the ballot.

I also hope that if you are an American that you read up on the facts, don't trust only 1 news source (few are unbiased), and take the time to learn about what these politicians stand for before making your vote.

And I hope that no matter who ends up in their White House will manage to finally start changing things for the better.


Update: I found a half-funny Hillary bashing one (finally):
Whoever vote for Hillary/Billary Clinton it means that pewrson is a quite naive and takes liars as a true words. The Clintons always lie.
- Jim Bagrowicz, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


  • At 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    Your mailings, pointed out by Mrs. Clinton today, make you a hypocrite. Saying one thing in public, than you use mailings that are wrong, deceiving and hit below the belt.

    You SHOULD be ashamed of using a quote from a newspaper that the newspaper itself retracted as not being a correct quote.

    The Obama health care plan is inferior. You only need basic reading skills to read the Clinton health care plan and they your mailing, and see you're either using hyperbole or are simply printing and distributing an untruth. The Clinton web site (see link below) says: The tax credits will ensure that working families never have to pay more than a limited percentage of their income for health care.

    You are practicing the OLD politics of Washington and your claims of practicing the "politics of hope" and giving voters a different kind of choice have now been obliterated much like the spy satellite shot down earlier this week by the USS Lake Erie, named after that body of water on the northern border of Ohio. Obama is clearly cherry picking, parsing, asking what the definition of is, is, in order to make his attack.

    Perhaps your candidacy, now rogue just like the satellite, will meet the same fate in the state bordered by its namesake lake.

    Wouldn't that be eerie?

    Brian Masck, Flushing, Michigan
    (I don't know where you got the other info attributed to me ....)

  • At 10:32 PM, Blogger Melinda said…

    Definitely an interesting sentiment - as I mentioned before, both your note and Hillary's comment confuse me - even though her point was about their similar levels of inexperience, I don't understand comparing a Republican to a Democrat. Perhaps my Canadian ignorance, but they seem like such different political parties to me. If Hillary is comparing Obama to George Bush, I can't imagine it was for any other reason than using Bush's incompetence to stain Obama's name.

    I liked Hillary before that, by the way.

  • At 10:30 AM, Blogger Suldog said…

    +Ugh. When we get past the color and sex, then everything will be much better. That includes the people against a black man or against a woman, and also those who feel that being black or a woman is somehow a special qualification.

    For the record, my political party (Libertarian, proud to be the third-largest party in the USA - which is kind of like having the third best hand in a poker game, worthless) was the first to have a female candidate on the ballot in all 50 states, the first to have a female candidate actually receive an electoral vote (which is what really elects people down here) and we have since had two other females on the national ballot. Of course, nobody cares unless you're a Democrat or a Republican.

    Oh, well.

  • At 5:57 PM, Blogger Melinda said…

    Wow, that's very interesting - I've heard of your party but just vague references. It's kind of like our NDP party here in Canada - it's there and many people support it, but you don't usually hear much about it.


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