Saturday, 18 October 2008

Could You Withstand the Scrutiny?

As the American election season crawls mercifully to a close on November 4th, with a hopefully positive outcome for the Democratic Party's nominee, I have started to ponder on the absolute bullshit that is dredged up during these campaigns.  Katie Couric on the CBS Evening News has been running a fascinating series.  Every week in her Presidential Questions series, she has asked the two candidates to answer probings of both politics and character.  This week the question was on the subject of infidelity.  "Why do you think so many prominent political figures risk so much by being unfaithful to their spouse?"  Watch the candidates and their answers.

Now Mr. McCain clearly did not want to answer this question.  Maybe because he falls into the category of unfaithful political spouses? His discomfort is so obvious that it caused me to squirm in my seat. But, it has always been my premise that a candidate's private life should have no impact on whether or not they can do the job that they so ardently pursue.  But, I am obviously in the minority with these views, as every inch of the candidates past is so thoroughly dissected and vetted, that it is a wonder that anybody would willingly choose to run for office. It got me to thinking about whether my own past misdeeds could withstand the scrutiny.  You can all be the judge.  

I quit the Girl Guides when I was ten.  I had a run in with my Captain (I think I actually called her a bitch to her face when we had an expressed difference of opinion. What that argument was about is beyond my memory) and I refused to return to receive my Canada Cord. (The Canadian Girl Scouts highest honour) Much like the American Olympic basketball team of 1972 who were robbed of the gold medals (their silver medals were never presented) my Canada Cord probably sits in a box in some old woman's basement waiting in vain for the presentation that will never come.  I suppose that in the political arena, this fit of pique might make me look like a hothead who cannot control herself in the face of adversity.  

I attended a party in 8th grade where alcohol was the highlight of the evening for all of the prepubescents in the room.  A roomful of puking 13 year olds is probably what turned me off of the stuff for the rest of my life, but I need to fully acknowledge that for that one evening in 1975, I broke the law and was an underaged drinker. The horror of it all!

I have had personal friendships with a bevy of clergy persons over these many years and I am certain that at least one or two has sermonized on a topic that could be misconstrued as radical and having a liberal agenda.  My all-time favourite was when the rabbi that I was working with spoke ardently in favour of gay marriage at a Rosh Hashana service at least ten years before it became a legal reality here in Canada. Oy! Did we get letters.  My mere presence on the bimah must have been looked at as conspiratorial and assenting with her every word. I wholeheartedly backed her at every turn!!  

My grandfather was a card carrying member of the communist party.  Yes he was! Many Jewish immigrants who came to North America in the late 20s and 30s found the communist manifesto a philosophy to which they could easily relate.  Now, his communist leanings lasted only for as long as he wasn't making any real money.  As soon as he became somewhat of a success, he leaned much more to the right, but he never forgot his socialist roots and voted for the NDP right up until the end.  He would have found the likes of Stephen Harper, George Bush and John McCain laughter inducing.  I guess because of my family history, I could be labelled a subversive.  

On the plus side-I have never indulged in the wacky weed, (probably because of my singing) I have never engaged in weird and wild sex practices (sorry all!) and my biggest run-in with the law came this past summer when I was presented with my very first traffic ticket.  My children have not come home pregnant, (or given me any cause to think that a grandchild is on the horizon--right gentlemen?) I don't have a strange middle name (unless you think that Dawn is strange) and my parents have stayed happily married for almost 47 years without straying too far off of course.

I still think that it is impossible for any of us to possibly withstand the shit slinging that takes place during these campaigns.  If all of us were slaves to our past misdeeds, nobody would ever get elected to anything.  May this campaign come to a merciful and swift conclusion.

1 comment:

  1. Speaking of weird and wild seem to have conveniently forgotten to mention the time you...