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The election 08 - what I believe will happen
What election does the rest of the world want to vote in?
The US election.
OK, here is my rant:

As one of the few Canadian members of happyrobot, I can pretty much guarantee to my southern neighbours that we will obsess over the US elections. And don't blame our bland politicians up here - if we just wanted to comment on leaders with too much bravado, we would be picking on Hugo Chavez.

Rich asked all of us who we think will be the president after the election next year, and I guess it will probably be Hillary Clinton. Not because it's time for a woman, but because voters in a democracy secretly long for a dynasty.

Edwards or Obama will be her running mate because they are the best looking and most resemble movie stars. Probably it will Obama, unless he makes the mistake of speaking off-message or from the heart.

Do I sound cynical? I feel like I still haven't gotten over the last election. It was like the worst breakup ever. I cried for days. Maybe I still had hope until then, and after that I knew that it was over. Extremism is flourishing like kudzu. Literacy is waning. We have even roused the ugly beasts of the cold war that made our own parents wonder whether to have kids. And those "beasts" still have nuclear warheads aimed in our direction. And don't get me started on the environment.

And if you are American and reading this and think that I am insulting your country, I am not. I am sure that with the same amount of power, other countries would have botched up a lot worse.

I believe that there is some fatal flaw built into humanity that makes us self-destruct
I believe that all empires fall, no matter how unfathomable. The Holy Roman empire - 1,000 years or something? The British Empire? How long? What British granny born at the turn of the last century would have believed you had you told her schoolgirl self that Britain would no longer have her empire?

It's just that I used to have this idea of America when I was a kid, and I probably got it from comic books or Atticus Finch or Bevery Hills Cop...I just always saw America as subversive and cool and inventive and compassionate and with so much heart. They would never tolerate having their rights trampled on. They would have invented an alternative to fossil fuels back in the 70's and made enough money off it to send everyone college for free and launch ten thousand awesome rock bands.

And I think that even though the real America was so much more complicated than that, many people across the world needed to believe in that mythology. I believe that when those people looked at America on 9/11, they felt like it was the suffering of people that they knew. Even in Iran, they marched in solidarity with the US that night. (Whatsa Sudanese refugee gotta do around here to get into your heart like that?).

But I don't know where that mythology has gone. And it makes me want to cry like a schoolgirl, because as much as haters will say "good riddance" while pointing out decades of destructive foreign policy etc., I am sad that the idea of America feels over. But in the old American spirit, I will venture that anything is possible. Maybe whoever is elected can help us fathom a new, hope-filled, compassionate, rock-star America that can reinvent itself to the world. It's possible, isn't it? This sort of thing happens all the time in the movies.

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