This week, in his fifth State of the Union address, Obama showed every sign of no longer believing in his words. He was Hamlet, unable to make up his mind, over-trained and over-rehearsed. This Obama speech was so flat, so monotonous, so uninteresting. But Florida Senator Marco Rubio had been carefully chosen by the Republican Party bigwigs to offer the party's answer to Obama. The Republicans must be insane.
President Obama's liberal warrior call happens at the same time as the Liberal Party of Canada seeks not only a new leader, but also to reclaim its place as the alternative to the hard right government of Stephen Harper that has more in common with the hard right of the Republican Party than the Progressive Conservative Party of Diefenbaker, Joe Clark and Mulroney.
We cannot anticipate such senseless slaughter. But we can make the next one more difficult. America does not have any more mentally handicapped, disturbed, or mad people than any other country. What it does have is more guns. We cannot make sense of what happened in Newtown. We can only try to give this senseless massacre some purpose other than a cathartic outpouring of grief.
On the heels of big data grabbing headlines the world over for its role in President Obama's re-election, could 2013 be the year big data makes the big leap into the mainstream, especially business? The task ahead of us is to take the promise of big data and realize it in every department and in every industry. Some surprising pioneers are already leading the way.
What exactly is so "unthinkable" about Friday's school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, when it almost seems to happen on a regular basis? There is public outpouring of "sentiment" across all forms of social media and then...Nothing. It's time for the supposedly sentimental to drop the notion that this is not the moment for discussion, but rather the time for emotion and prayer. President Obama should not be crying, the flag should not be lowered; they ought to do away with temporary sentimentality, and finally take action regarding gun control. After all, with so many of these types of tragedies under their belt, shouldn't the Americans be rather immune to this sort of thing?
We've mistaken being politically opinionated for being politically engaged. We simply give off the appearance of being so, by "sharing" and "publishing" articles from the New Yorker, Harper's, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy -- look at me, this is what I read! Aren't I an intellectual treat? An opinion doesn't mean a thing -- but a vote does. The sooner that we stop pretending that 140-character messages makes us politically engaged the better off our generation will be.
The American electorate has sent the Republican Party a message: the Republican Party has to be inclusive in order to remain a political force. The post-election reaction from Republican pundits suggests that they heard that message. What isn't clear is whether they understood that message, or heard what they wanted to hear.
During those four years there had been much sadness, wailing and gnashing of teeth and beating of breasts in the land as the tribe's riches and power ebbed, and the people lost faith in their tribe. So therefore, many leaders did arise who did each say unto the people that he alone was strong and of good courage and should be their leader to lead them out of the slough of despond and into the land of milk and honey...
Most of us are relieved the U.S. election is over -- listening to the hyperbole of the campaign for so many months has been difficult even for Canadians who don't hear the ads and don't have the same emotional reaction to the candidates. But there are some lessons to be learned for non-politicians working on their personal brands.
At the end of the day, this "close" election was not really that close. While the race was closer than 2008, Romney's routes to victory proved limited and, ultimately, impossible. The outcome of this election will likely raise serious questions about the influence of the right wing Tea Party in the Republican Party.
Imagine the following scene with me, if you will: Marine One lands amid a fury of fireworks in the middle of Grant Park in Chicago. President Obama is wearing a full flight-suit as he struts from the LZ up onto a stage already occupied by Bruce Springsteen and Jay-Z. As he makes his way behind the podium, George Clooney unveils a giant "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" banner.
A successful Obama presidency -- one that trims the debt, shrinks the deficit, reforms entitlements, and spurs GDP growth is one dangerously likely to revive the old Canadian demons of insecurity and inferiority. Regardless of how much it may satiate our fiscal interests, an economically resurgent America almost certainly means a return to second-place status for this country.