Tomorrow’s the big day the entire world has been anxiously anticipating. Late tomorrow evening all eyes will be on the United States as the polls close and America decides whether to keep Barack Obama as her 44th President, or allow Mitt Romney to become her 45th.
It’s been said that anyone who is not interested in politics has no interest in the human experience. And I would have to agree. If the human species is to rise to the full height that is demanded by its dignity and by its intelligence, then democracy is the ultimate hope. And America being the mother of all democracies, I feel it was said best in Denys Arcand’s 2003 film The Barbarian Invasions: “Philadelphia, USA, 1776. Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Adams, Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Hamilton and Madison. No other country has been so blessed.”
As part of their incredible coverage of the presidential election, 60 Minutes aired a brilliant piece last night where Morley Safer sits down with renowned American historian David McCullough who sheds some much-needed perspective on the evolution of American politics and the country at large. Among the terrific tidbits is McCullough’s insight into the dirty nature of campaigning and how the presidential campaigns of the past would make today’s look like child’s play. The 1800 election between Jefferson and Adams, for instance, was one of the worst. Jefferson shouted across America that Adams was a hermaphrodite (among other things), and Adams blasted in rebuttal by screaming that if Jefferson was elected President then murder, robbery, rape, adultery and incest would sweep across the country like wildfire. And further to this, McCullough adds that when Adams was Vice President presiding over the House of Representatives politicians literally went after eachother with fire tongs on the House floor. It’s an incredible segment and you can watch it in full below.
And in this past Sunday’s roundtable on ABC’s This Week, George Will made a great point with regards to the public outcry that the two candidates have each spent more than $1 billion in total on their respective campaigns. Will’s take is that everybody should calm the fuck down. Procter & Gamble, for instance, spent more than $3 billion last year on advertising for detergent. Host George Stephanopoulos also makes the excellent point that because these campaign machines are becoming so big, so expensive, and so sophisticated, America is likely to see many more 48% – 48% tied presidential elections in the future. You can watch the terrific roundtable below.
And last night I happened to catch FRONTLINE’s brilliant election documentary entitled The Choice 2012. You can also watch it below in full, and earlier this morning the TODAY show took a broad look at how the world is watching this process unfold with bated breath. It’s an interesting analysis of how the U.S. election process has a huge influence in shaping both the global economy and the global psyche.
Good luck tomorrow America, and I’d like to wish President Obama, his family, as well as Vice President Biden all the best tomorrow night! Canada loves Obama! WOOT WOOT!