One Canadian’s Perspective on the US Presidential Election

Since I had the right to vote, I have viewed politics from afar. Politics have never really interested me in the least, mainly because I observed it as run-around and empty promises. I have found it hard to follow, or keep interested in laws and bills, campaigns or slam ads. Politics is just not my forte.

However, with the recent presidential election going on right now in the United States, (yes, I am completely disregarding the upcoming Canadian election) I cannot help but stick my nose in this business, and here is why. It is pop culture if it’s anything.

Coming from a pop culture background, I am feeding upon all the spoofs and satires that are appearing in the media. I may not know much about US politics, but I certainly know that not many people are taking the election seriously.

Take for example the song that put out using Barack Obama’s speech. This instantly sent Obama into the pop culture stratosphere, and he had nothing to do with the making or distribution of the song.

I was surprised as you were that Jo Biden was selected as the VP running mate over Hilary Clinton, because quite frankly, I assumed she was a shoe-in.

John McCain claimed that Obama was only a celebrity, compared him to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. What was the rebuttal? Paris Hilton creating her own mock campaign message that, like Obama, kicked up his pop culture credibility another notch.

Then, there is Sarah Palin, who is almost like a parody of herself; unintentionally funny and often times tragic. Her public speaking ability is laughable; her debating skills even worse. It was McCain who accused Obama of being a celebrity, but that has come back to bite him on the ass, as Palin is the celebrity.

The selection of Palin as his running mate was intentionally sensational. Palin was literally plucked from obscurity and thrown into real world politics by McCain who (in a vain attempt) is trying to appeal to the female voter.

Palin has instantly become a pop culture icon, which has taken away any credibility she may have had. She is on the cover of gossip magazines as a result of her 17 year-old daughter’s pregnancy. She is being mocked on Pundit Kitchen. Most notably, Tina Fey’s offers herhilarious (and dead on) impression of the VP candidate on Saturday Night Live.

Being popular (or infamous) with the mainstream media does not qualify someone to be in charge of something very important, like say, co-running a country.  I am finding it a mixture of hilarious and tragic that people are in awe of this woman. She has displayed in her Katie Couric interview  that she cannot answer a simple question like “what magazines did you read?”.

Or in the VP debate, where she selected the questions she wanted to answer by backtracking and speaking about things she was more comfortable debating. For me, warning bells are going off, and flags are going up. I do not know whether to laugh at the US population or be embarrassed for it.

I didn’t write this to attempt to sway voters, because my say means nothing. I can’t vote in your election. I would just suggest really listening to what each candidate is saying, asking, or promising. Listen to how they speak. Is it inspiring?

Can you see that person in office for the next four years? Vote with an educated mind, not because a celebrity does a pretty good impression or because another is more popular amongst your age demographic. This time around, it really does matter.

By Daniel Dessinger

Daniel founded CultureFeast in 2005, co-founded Mommypotamus in 2009, and writes frequently about self-awareness.

One reply on “One Canadian’s Perspective on the US Presidential Election”

I know very few people in awe of Sarah Palin. Then again, I run into far more liberals at work than conservatives.

I think we need to have a balanced view of Sarah Palin. She is obviously unqualified for office. She can’t engage many of the topics of discussion because she simply has no experience in those arenas.

Not her fault, necessarily, until you consider the fact that a person should probably not agree to run for Vice President if she knows she is grossly unqualified. That she is so unqualified only points a terrifying finger at John McCain for making the decision in the first place.

She is an attractive woman/wife/mother who has enjoyed extraordinary success in her political career at a young age. She is young for a governor, not to mention Vice President. But she has the desired camera appeal, which McCain sorely lacked against Obama. It’s fair to say that during the VP debate, Joe Biden looked physically battered and unattractive in the light of his opponent. Palin is even more attractive in comparison to Biden than Obama is to McCain.

That SHOULDN’T matter in an election, but unfortunately it does. Oh, for the days when Presidents were elected regardless of physical appearance, and more for the substance of their positions and qualifications. But those days, I fear, are forever lost.

Truth be told, I would and most likely will vote for someone else. Someone who wasn’t nominated. Someone who actually represents my position on all the issues (if such a person exists).

I will say, Rachel, that I take issue with your statement: “Listen to how they speak. Is it inspiring? Can you see that person in office for the next four years?”

Is this really the criteria for electing world leaders? God, I hope not. I hope we don’t listen to Obama, buy into all his well spoken BS and think that based on said posturing he will make a good President. Don’t get me wrong. Maybe he will make a good President.

But his ability to communicate and be charismatic does not impress me. I like it. I’d hire him to be my company’s spokesperson. But I want to dig deeper than any of these debates will go to see how he might actually handle the Presidency.

I know, I know: who has time to actually do hours of research? Well, actually, most of us. We don’t WANT to do the research. We take the easy way out and pick the one who makes us feel good, or the one who upholds the 5-10 issues our church puts on a stupid bulletin insert.

Honestly, I am so disgusted by how little these candidates share during these debates that I feel the urge to publicly disparage both candidates. Circular cliche-speak does NOT answer my questions! Why can’t they understand that? Why can’t they rise above that standard?

I think the answer is simple. As a country, we have set the bar so ridiculously low that they only compete to the level of our expectations. It is not the politicians who are to bear the brunt of the blame. It is we, the citizens of the United States of America, who refuse to care enough to know what is happening.

We allow them to speak to us like children. We permit them to get this far in an election without providing real substance. We permit them to answer with cliches and circular speak that just hammers home whatever childish mantra they’ve adopted for their campaign.

I am disgusted by this process.

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