I think I figured out what bothers me so much about American politics.
On one hand they focus far too much on what a candidate looks and sounds like (rather than what they say).
On the other, they take it all SO seriously. Like a hairdo or a 15 second video of a stammer is going to decide how they vote.
So much energy is spent talking about the person's personal life or the pins they put on a lapel or what small errant slip of the tongue might indicate. They expect total and complete perfection in every word.
Mispronunciation? Oh, obviously that means he/she is an idiot. Forgot your flag pin? Oh you are anti-American. Stammer? Total idiot.
Whatever would they make of our candidates? PMs whose native language isn't English, heavy accents, facial paralysis... I mean I was never a fan of ol Jean, but you wouldn't catch me judging him on what he looks or sounds like. We could even forgive some of the dumbest sounding statements because we know that people aren't always perfect and don't always speak in perfect evening news soundbites.
It's almost as though they insist that their candidates be media savvy OVER being a person of action. Almost like they believe it's what you SAY and how you say it, not what you DO.
I've never realized how spoiled we are up here in Canada to have voters that can look past the first layer, past the news soundbite, past the mispronunciations and unpolished interviews. We're much more forgiving.
And, obviously, to my American friends and readers... I realize that not everyone is like this, but these days I can't seem to read as many blogs as I once did without tripping over the same Palin video clips accompanied by the nearly identical commentary about what she sounds like or if she stammers or if she looks nervous.
(Oh, and anyone who says that living next door to Russia doesn't give you any foreign policy experience . . . has never lived right next door to a large and powerful foreign country. Most Americans wouldn't consider Canada that powerful, I get that you don't give us a second thought. But Canadians? We know how our lives are affected by America . . . and our provincial leaders have trade experience and more because they share a border with America.)
(I'm tired of hearing that Obama only says "Change!" The people who use that as some kind of dig have not gone far enough to actually look up what he DOES say. Do your research, he gets a tad more specific. LOL)
Ok, now hopefully I haven't offended the pants off of everyone. I'll try not to be so CANADIAN and say SORRY.