This Presidential election was a cacophony of noise, nattering and nonsense from its start to its ignoble and therefore entertaining finish. It was a success for Canadians in that it achieved two great things: the first, our entertainment, and the second, a reminder that despite the fact that it is sometimes very boring here, Canadians have it pretty good.
America has become an increasingly broken country filled with increasingly broken people from increasingly broken homes, attending increasingly broken schools and living in increasingly broken communities. The wake of this election will prove the increasingly broken nature of the very method they vote and the increasing number of Americans who question the very nature of American democracy -- with talk of "election rigging," or "people voting for handouts" to be ubiquitous in coming months.
This election has reduced American prestige in the eyes of many Canadians. Not because of who won, but because of everyone who lost -- observers interested in bipartisan solutions to America's problems.
BLOG CONTINUES BELOW SLIDESHOW...
As I predicted, the introduction of Paul Ryan as a running mate not only made Obama's victory inevitable but also failed to make the national conversation about reforming America's entitlement programs any more substantive. It instead, as I predicted, made those conversations all the more frivolous.
The media talk is of course always about how politicians are failing America but never about what a sad failure so many Americans have become. Many, it is clear, will not only believe things without evidence and consider this a virtue, but have no concept of what evidence is in the first place.
This explains what was the initial popularity of Donald Trump and the Birther crowd, the pseudo-intellectual and self-absorbed indolence of the Occupy Movement, the low-brow bigotry of the Tea Party and other entertaining contributions to the campaign from luminaries like Herman Cain or Rush Limbaugh. This Presidential Campaign generated enough heat to warm the oceans but barely enough light to brighten a darkened room. We saw an America faced with enormous problems and how small it has become in the face of them.
And how could anyone forget the voter focus groups?! It was at times torture to listen to the contemptible "voters" slumped in their chairs on CNN, MSNBC or Fox news saying they were "undecided" despite all the available information about either candidate. All they were truly undecided about was how to maximize their time on television.
These elections were entertainment of the vulgar, yet engrossing kind, much akin to watching episodes of the Maury Show subtitled, "Are YOU the father?" Further, we learned something about the American voter that will be used in future campaigns courtesy of the Romney campaign: facts can be ignored and there will be no consequences.
If there were 300 million Canadians would our politics be equally sordid? Would our crime levels be as high? Would we be accusing the Prime Minister, were they born to a parent from Africa or Asia of being secretly born in China or Zimbabwe or being *gasp* a Muslim?
Would the trumpets of our hatemongers sound as loud as their American counterparts? I don't think they would. We hear a great deal about American exceptionalism but I think that perhaps it's Canada that's "exceptional" and perhaps time we began behaving that way. Congratulations President Obama.