As a younger woman, I stood beneath the arch on countless occasions at the height of the Cold War. It was a time when there were far fewer allied nations and as a Canadian teen I knew my closest allies were those I could reach through the arch to connect with. In 1984 the Americans were not just my neighbors, they were my family in every sense of the word. Suddenly, it's 28 years later. You find yourself in 2012 in the midst of the US election and you realize, with shock and awe that the gate is closing - not because of economics or war or terrorist threat or because a guard is standing at the border locking the gate in front of you - but in the name of blind adherence to ideology.
Many Canadians are predisposed to dislike Mitt Romney. He is a Republican, and robotic even by those standards. In this land of centre-left sensibilities, such party affiliation and corporate mien often rankle. But I would urge my Canadian compatriots to reconsider. Romney is running for a foreign office, not joining your curling team, and if he can unseat President Barack Obama, the Great White North will be greater for it.
The most exciting thing about the Republican convention which starts today in Tampa, is not Mitt Romney as the Presidential candidate, but Paul Ryan as his VP running mate. There's no guarantee a dynamic running mate will lead to a Romney victory come November 4, but without committed Republicans enthused and optimistic, his chances were slight to non-existent.
"Polish death camps," isn't the first embarrassing "misspeak" by President Obama. But for some reason, when Palin makes a gaffe about Russia, it gets parodied by comedians. When Obama makes a gaffe about the Holocaust or concentration camps, all that ensues is an apology. Like warfare, politics isn't fair.
For three years, my political party has veered in a direction I cannot follow. And if the GOP insists on framing the 2012 election as a ballot question on fiscal and monetary austerity, or if they nominate somebody manifestly incompetent to do the job of president, they're going to lose me -- and a lot more people.
"Indignados" (the indignants) occupy city squares in Spain on a permanent basis, and now the Wall Street protests have taken root and will only grow in size and intensity. These protests, while poorly organized and rag-tag, will become the migraine of politics, not fatal but nagging and potentially dangerous.