New Column: How To Be A Sex Crazed Politician And Survive

How To Be A Sex Crazed Politician And Survive

By: Rachel Marsden

Married South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford’s recent admission of a lengthy affair with an Argentine mistress proves yet again that the heavy burden of public office can come to bear down so heavily on the shoulders of these poor souls that sometimes the only solution is to open that pressure valve controlled by their fly zipper. Before the next politician goes down that road, I’d like to offer some general advice to them in my capacity as a political and media strategist.

1) Leave God out of it. Politicians who end up ensnared in sex scandals don’t just wake up one day to discover their libido is in charge. The surprise is only ever on the part of the public – not the person responsible for the behavior. Knowing that you’re uncontrollably horny and possibly headed for disaster, how about taking care that God isn’t seen riding shotgun with you? This will ensure that he doesn’t end up getting thrown from your pimpmobile when it inevitably comes crashing to an abrupt halt. God was first spotted in Sanford’s passenger seat as he moralized against Bill Clinton for his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Then Sanford conveniently dragged God into his own mess by holding him responsible for the fact that he’s not going to step down as Governor. Quite simply, he’s staying because God told him to. Even God has to be rolling his eyes at that one, along with the rest of us. Instead of using God as a scapegoat for whatever you did or are about to do, voters would respond better to the idea of accepting full responsibility and accountability.

2) Keep your apologies targeted. Cheating on your wife doesn’t mean that you cheated on taxpayers. Don’t confuse the two. If you didn’t do anything in breach of public trust, then just keep your mouth shut completely. People who argue that politicians who screw around on their wives only prove that they don’t have the requisite character to hold public office don’t know what they’re talking about. Lack of character in one area of your life doesn’t create some kind of slippery slope into another. That’s like arguing a bank robber is likely to commit pedophilia. Point this out, if necessary, by saying that whatever private difficulties you’re facing really have nothing to do with your job, and you’d appreciate being left alone to get on with it.

3) Shake it off like European leaders. Don’t cry in the media like Sanford did, allowing them to set the agenda by responding to them almost daily like you’re a willing participant in some sort of reality show. Just keep going about your job and responsibilities until you’re forcibly removed (which is much more difficult to achieve if you can prove that you’re effective and competent). Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s wife publicly announced that she wants a divorce because her husband won’t stop cavorting with young women. HE then publicly demanded an apology from HER – and went on to enjoy a major victory the European Union elections and the support of at least half of the voting public. His critics are now so desperate that they’re circulating a petition trying to convince G8 country wives to boycott the upcoming summit on Berlusconi’s turf simply because he’s a cheating lout. Likewise, French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s personal life has taken a beating in the media over the years but he has never been distracted from his job. Unless your sex scandal rises to the level of the Profumo Affair — in other words, you’re a War Minister spilling secrets to your mistress while she’s also bedding an enemy of the state – don’t let the media pretend your sex life is that important.

4) Don’t ask for your wife’s cooperation. Be a big boy and take the heat alone. From Silda Spitzer to Hillary Clinton and Jenny Sanford, what’s the deal with these political wives who stand by their man after he gets busted for cheating on them? None of them ever look like they’re keen on being there or genuine in their diplomatic approach to the situation. It’s actually better for both the husband’s career and the wife’s mental health if she just lets him have it publicly with both barrels. The wives will feel better about it, and voters may even start feeling sorry for the guy. Everyone wins. Some have referred to Jenny Sanford’s statement as “classy”. I find that to be a characterization typically used by men who hope that their wives would be equally calm and understanding if they were ever caught cheating themselves. If I was in Jenny Sanford’s place, my statement would have been 10% identical to hers – meaning all the prepositions and conjunctions would have been the same. But that’s where the similarities would have ended.

Rachel Marsden is an international media and political strategist, author, and the Editor-in-Chief of the GrandCentralPolitical News Syndicate. This column also appears in Human Events Magazine.


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New Column: From Susan Boyle To Hitler: Why Some Simply Can’t Hack Fame

From Susan Boyle To Hitler: Why Some Simply Can’t Hack Fame

By:  Rachel Marsden

If we should be learning anything from the Susan Boyle meltdown phenomenon, in the wake of her inpatient treatment for “exhaustion” a mere weeks after coming to prominence, it’s that the average person isn’t cut out for fame.  The same holds true for political leaders.  What precisely makes one person succeed while another cracks?

Susan Boyle lived a quiet, simple country life alongside companions of the mainly feline persuasion, until she was thrust into the spotlight on Britain’s Got Talent and instantly became the focus of fantasy projections by every single fat slob splayed out on the couch with a Budweiser in-hand.  Wiping a tear into their brew, it donned on them that they, too, could become rich and famous if Simon Cowell came knocking at their door, dragged them and their housecoat into the makeup chair, wiped the Cheetos off the corner of their mouth and gave them a shot at superstardom.  Boyle doesn’t have the greatest voice, but she’s Sarah Brightman to every chump who likes to think he’s Sinatra on Friday nights at the karaoke bar.  If she can get “discovered”, then fame and fortune could just as easily be theirs, as well.  Or so the thinking goes.

The truth is that the “average” person doesn’t have the personality to contend with fame.  What exactly is that “x-factor” that predisposes a person to both fame and the ability to properly manage it?  It’s precisely two things:  Hard knocks over a long period of adjustment, combined with a histrionic personality type (and ideally, but not always, some substance or talent).  According to the Cleveland Clinic, histrionic people are “dramatic or theatrical”, have “intense emotions”, need to be “the center of attention”, and are most likely born into this type, as it runs in families.  These people could be taking a bath and still be a lot more interesting than you.  Just read your own Twitter feed or recent FaceBook status updates for a gut check on your own entertainment value.  Most reality show participants ultimately drown in the tidal wave of tedium that washes over our 24/7 cable TV universe, and the select few who survive aren’t equipped to handle it.

The histrionic personality, this “je ne sais quoi” I have just defined, is what draws us to a person  – think Madonna, Eminem, and any successful TV talking head who pulls in ratings – but the ability to withstand storms of criticism is what keeps them sane and functional under intense public scrutiny. 

“Normal” people don’t understand this celebrity personality type because they can’t relate.  This is exactly why celebrity is truly out of reach for the average person, despite any delusions.  The same people who write about TV commentator Glenn Beck, for example, being “insane”, or about to have an on-air meltdown at any moment, can’t relate to him because they’re his antithesis and are probably counted on to supply the megadose of Valium to whatever event they attend.  The political science professor with a double PhD can’t comprehend why guys like Beck are on TV and he isn’t.  It’s not that he’s nuts; it’s just that you’re boring.  Entertainment today is the new public execution, the new bullfight.  And if you were plucked from the protective walls of your ivory tower and thrown to the vicious masses you’d crack after about five hatemails.

If there’s anyone in Hollywood who makes you think he or she is as “normal” as you and your buddies – like Jerry Seinfeld or Jay Leno, for example – that’s just testament to their genius.  There’s a reason why these two are successful in that realm and you and Susan Boyle would collapse.

The prevalence of thick-skinned, talented histrionics isn’t limited to pop culture fame.  The same rules apply to successful political leaders.  I’m not referring to your typical “caretaker” Congressman or Member of Parliament who keeps a low profile.  I’m talking about the superstars.  Let’s look at a few examples:

Winston Churchill:  Rebellious child, speech impediment, largely ignored by his mother.  Everyone laughed at him when he warned of Hitler as a possible threat.  By the time he became Prime Minister for the first time in 1940, he had been taking abuse in the federal political arena for 30 years and had obviously developed some good coping mechanisms.  Still has some of the best one-liners in history.

Nicolas Sarkozy:  French President who went to all the “wrong” schools, grew up being told that he was from the “wrong” stock with a Hungarian name, and claims that he owes his success to “all the humiliations suffered during childhood.”  This “overnight sensation” actually spent 20 years as a mayor, plus a stint taking flack for clamping down on ethnic riots as Interior Minister.  Denounced “French arrogance” towards the country’s allies while Chirac was in power.   Doesn’t seem to lack the strength required for making all the right enemies.  Doubles as France’s shock jock.  Married to a former supermodel.

George W. Bush:  Born wealthy and connected, but made to work.  Barbara Bush wasn’t going to be raising any spoiled brats.  Ran some businesses, beat a popular incumbent Texas Governor for that job.  Made difficult moral decisions related to Texas Death Row executions.  Developed a tried and tested character and moral conscience by the time he took office as President.  The media hung on his every word.  Doubled as Comedian in Chief due to the editing of his reality show by the mainstream media.

And now, for the most renowned political equivalent of a reality show crack-up:

Adolf Hitler:  Spoiled by his mother, failed art school entry exams twice, claims to have had an “easy life”.  Joined the German Worker’s Party as official blowhard.  Resumed his art career by presiding over the design of the swastika.  Pretty much a weak, useless spoiled brat beyond a few odd jobs as a draftsman and painter.  What Hitty wants, Hitty gets.  And the world paid for it.  Relied heavily on his “entourage” to boost his weak ego.


Rachel Marsden is a political and media strategist, columnist, TV/radio commentator and Editor-in-Chief of GrandCentralPolitical News Syndicate.  This column also appears at Human Events.

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New Column: Queen Not Invited To Obama-Sarkozy D-Day Date

Queen Not Invited To Obama-Sarkozy D-Day Date

By:  Rachel Marsden

On June 6th, France will host the 65th anniversary of its D-Day liberation from Nazis by 83,000 British and Canadian troops, and 73,000 US soldiers.  The head of state representing the largest contingent – the Queen of both England and Canada — didn’t get an invite.  It’s just for Presidents Obama and Sarkozy – and apparently if some British government types want to watch the make out session, they’re free to do so.

The British press has been reporting that the Queen feels snubbed.  So I got in touch with a few people close to Sarkozy to find out what the deal was.  I figured that this had to be an unfortunate mistake or oversight – because I have personally found that if there are any French at all who are unlikely to flake on an appointment and or behave in a manner that induces moral culture shock in a North American, it’s the select handful of people around Nicolas Sarkozy. 

Sarkozy’s press secretary, Franck Louvrier, directed me to a statement by government spokesman, Luc Chatel, which says that it’s up to the British to decide how they construct their delegation, and that the Queen was “welcome”.  I responded to Louvrier (translated from French):

“Chatel says that she’s ‘welcome’?!  Bah…I received the same invitation as the Queen of England…on the Normandy tourism website!  Olala…come on, guys!”

Elysée spokesman, Pierre Régent, told me over the phone that this is a “Franco-American” event, and that there have been other ceremonies in the past for other countries.  He pointed out that there are Norwegians and Poles buried in Normandy, as well – not just Canadians and Brits.  French-to-truth translation:  “It’s a date, so shove off”. 

I hate to do this, but let’s have a look at the cemeterial scoreboard for this “Franco-American” event, in and around Normandy:  9,386 American, 17,769 British, 5,002 Canadian and 650 Poles.  That’s 22,771 for the Queen (uninvited), and 9,386 for Obama (invited).

By not inviting the Queen, the French have, at least in part, left the war and history out of the ceremony.  The optics suggest that this is about two guys – Sarkozy and Barack Obama – turning what should be a group event into a one-on-one makeout session between themselves and the cameras.  Apparently Sarkozy has been fantasizing about it since April, when France’s Express magazine reported that he was joking of Obama’s D-Day visit, in a caucus meeting:  “I will ask him to walk on the English Channel and he will do it…you will see…”

That’s nice, but what’s the harm in inviting everyone to that kind of a show?  It’s not like there’s a lack of space in the French countryside.   Why not just throw invitations to all relevant heads of government and state, like Jacques Chirac did for the 60th anniversary of Normandy.  He invited the Queen, the Canadian PM and everyone else of historical relevance.  Who cares that Chirac may simply have been short on friends – the end result was proper.

I asked Elysée spokesman Régent if Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper had been invited.  Apparently not.   They should have at least sent him one.  He won’t ruin the event – he’ll just sit in the corner and quietly devour the sandwich tray.  And why not the President of Poland:  President Whats-His-Name?  He’s unlikely to overshadow any big egos.  What about Canadian Governor General , Michaëlle Jean, the Haitian-born, French-speaking Queen’s representative in Canada, who just this week ripped out a baby seal’s heart and ate it raw?  She’d make a great guest – Sarkozy wouldn’t know whether to make her the next token ethinic minority cabinet minister or offer her a job in haute cuisine. 

All these people – and especially the Queen — should have been at least given the opportunity to decline an invitation, which they almost assuredly would have all accepted.

There are many realistic excuses not to invite the Queen to an event like this, none of which has been articulated, but all of which are more likely than the ridiculous idea of D-Day commemorations being a “Franco-American” event: 

First, you have to behave around her.   These world leaders can’t treat the Queen like they do German Chancellor Angela Merckel at some of these wild world summits – with shoulder rubs and touchy-feely pawing.  It’s hard to act and look cool knowing that you could possibly screw-up at any time by merely giving her a blackslap. 

If you invite the Queen, you invite the British press, whose favourite pastime is mocking the French.  It doesn’t matter how somber the occasion might be – razzing will ensue if there’s any reason for the English media to be present.

The Queen needs a lot of security.  France could use costs as an excuse, given that France is broke.  Those aren’t my words; Prime Minister, Francois Fillon has been saying it since 2007.  But then the Queen can always offer to foot the bill – and you know she would — making the host country look cheap with a lady picking up the tab.  And that means you’d have to ask Obama to chip in, too.  (Sorry, I’m suddenly having post-traumatic flashbacks to my last series of dinners with French men.)

None of the excuses hold water.  Regardless of one’s opinion of the monarchy, the Queen is still the head of state of some of France’s most reliable and proven allies.  This means something in particular to the many soldiers of these countries who would once again defend France and give their lives if she ever called on them to do so.  The most Sarkozy and France risk in respectfully extending her a proper invitation is a paper cut.  Honor, respect, and tradition still mean something to those of us burdened by pesky Anglo-Saxon morality.  So he really needs to reschedule the orgy with Obama and the media for June 7th.  War cemeteries aren’t the place for it.


Rachel Marsden is a political and media strategist, TV and radio personality, author and Editor-in-Chief of Grand Central Political News Syndicate.  This column also appears at Human Events.

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New Column: Obama Not The First Head Of State To Design Cars*

Obama:  Not The First Head Of State To Design Cars*

By:  Rachel Marsden

“Sitting at a restaurant table in Munich in the summer of 1932, Hitler designed the prototype for what would become the immensely successful Beetle design for Volkswagen (literally, the “car of the people”),” says the Hitler Historical Museum’s website.  He then said to the head of Daimler-Benz:  “Take it with you and speak with people who understand more about it than I do. But don’t forget it. I want to hear from you soon, about the technical details.”

This week, Obama imposed on American car manufacturers strict fuel efficiency and emissions standards, to be introduced in 2012.  Manufacturers will reportedly get extra pats on the head for cranking out electric cars like General Motors’ Chevy Volt – which will soak American consumers for about $40,000.  In other words, they’re going to make cars only hippies want, at prices only CEOs can afford.  Don’t like it?  Then ride a bike or take the bus.

  1.   Sure, there are hybrid electric buses around the world that run partly on electricity and can do that – but when they have to keep up with traffic on the highway, that’s when the diesel fuel kicks in and starts drowning polar bears all over again.

 “Americans just have to get out of their big cars,” a French friend sighed to me recently. 

“Yeah, I’m sure your girlfriends find it really sexy that you can ‘lift’ your scooter into its parking spot and that they have to take the subway to meet up with you on your dates,” I replied.

That’s environmental paranoia in a nutshell for you.  It isn’t really about the environment, it’s about control.  You, too, are going to be forced to look as stupid as the guy pulling ten canvas bags out of his faux leather man-purse.  If you dare show up at any grocery store in Toronto, Canada, without your own ratty, reused bags, you’ll be charged five cents for each one – a tax on your audacity, collected by the City.

It’s the same thing in Paris.  On one particularly cold day, the Parisian cashier in the Palais des Congres’ Galeries Gourmandes simply assumed that I didn’t require any bags for about forty purchased items.  When I said, after she had rung me up, that I indeed did, she snapped that it would cost me five cents apiece.  I replied (in French):  “Oh, here are two Euros, then.  Please make it one bag for each item.  It’s far too cold outside for this time of year, so I’d like to go home and burn them to do my part in combating climate change.”

The UK’s Daily Mail is reporting this week that 17 local government councils have recruited approximately 9,000 “environmental volunteers” – some of the budding brownshirts as young as seven years old —  to spy on their neighbors for infractions such as littering, and “putting rubbish out on the wrong day” and general “environmental concerns”. 

A spokesman claims the program participants “help councils cut crime and make places cleaner, greener and safer.”  And more fascist!  What better way for a dorky kid to exert some power over his enemies than to become a certified ratfink for the State?

And it’s the dorks who are most obsessed with control, in whatever way they can get it.  How does Obama fit into this?  Well, did you see him riding that bike in his blue jeans during the campaign?  Obama is a dork, pure and simple – and now he’s going to impose all his control games on society at large.

Meaningless control games based on rules of the dork’s invention are at the very foundation of the dork existence.  That’s why every accredited nerd is obsessed with war games or Dungeons and Dragons, or some other make believe time-waster that gives him the opportunity to exert his dominance over other nerds.  Now, the public at large has been yanked into these games by their heartstrings.

Climate change is the pretend cause, and cap-and-trade is the new game.  This week, Obama’s Democrats introduced new legislation in Congress that would start the ball rolling on this new MMRPG (that’s Massively Multiplayer Role Playing Game, for the non-nerd uninitiated) whereby pollution “credits” will be bought and sold, with the leftists in Obama’s government in charge of the rules, naturally.  If they were truly capable, they would have found something meaningful to run before now, rather than some sort of Ponzi scheme involving air.

You know who else will be allowed to play that game?  The car manufacturers!  And they’ll be given extra credits for building cars that Obama really likes – like the shiny new electric ones which, with a top speed of 100mph, would lose in a game of pedal-to-the-medal chicken to a 13-year old on a 10-speed bike.  And when General Motors declares bankruptcy, a Reuters news report suggests that its viable assets could be sold to Obama’s government – something even the European Commission ruled unfeasible of auto manufacturers in December of last year, when the question was posed to them:  “In the current financial and economic crisis, it seems difficult to reconcile public interventions in order to support failing companies or firms in a sector facing difficult times ahead, with a market economy investor behavior.”

Europe might just be thinking about the last time a head of state dabbled in car design, in their backyard.  It didn’t turn out too well.

* I am not saying that Barack Obama is Hitler, just that they have a similar propensity for vehicular design.


Rachel Marsden is a political and media analyst, author, TV and radio personality, and Editor-in-Chief of Grand Central Political News Syndicate.  This column also appears at Human Events.

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New Column: Lessons From A Beauty Pageant

Lessons From A Beauty Pageant

By:  Rachel Marsden

Donald Trump, who apparently owns all the controversial beauty pageants in America, ruled this week that Ms. California, Carrie Prejean, will not be de-crowned for speaking out in favor of the status quo on marriage during the Ms USA competition and having “semi-nude” photos unearthed as a result.  By now, we all know the story, but what can we learn from it?

Beauty contests aren’t vehicles for social change.  The judge in question, gossip columnist Perez Hilton, said that he won’t tolerate anyone infringing on his personal rights as a homosexual.  He must have had Ms. USA runner-up Prejean confused with Obama’s next Supreme Court nominee.  Go dig up nude pics of that person, if you’re bent on affecting change.  If television variety programs were important catalysts for societal reinvention, then Susan Boyle would be knocking Angelina Jolie off magazine covers.

No one tells Donald Trump what to do.  Trump has de-crowned beauty queens before, upon release of photos.  I suppose Prejean may have technically broken pageant rules by not disclosing them, but contrary to what the magnitude of media coverage suggests, this isn’t a murder trial.  This is The Donald’s world, in which he is judge, jury and executioner.  I doubt that his foremost consideration, in determining Prejean’s fate, was to safeguard the integrity and good name of a skin parade.  It would be safe to presume that his loyalty in this case would be to his bottom line, however he feels that might be served, and he isn’t exactly the type of person to be swayed by lobbying groups or fear of media controversy. 

Nudity isn’t immoral, unchristian, or un-conservative.  I often read during this controversy, that it’s “not Christian” to pose for “semi-nude” or “nude” photos.  Some have even argued that the photos represent an unfortunate sin.  The only sin here is that kind of talk!  Christians not only get naked, but they also have sex.  There’s nothing immoral or unchristian about the human body or its functions.

Christianity and conservatism are being treated as one in the same here, and that’s limiting.  Would NIKE or McDonald’s or any other popular brand hitch itself to a particular religion?  It’s just bad business if you’re trying to build mass brand appeal.  I’m not the first person to say this.  Author and philosopher Ayn Rand said the exact same thing many years ago.  Conservatism isn’t synonymous with religion, but it makes sense that some might think this way.  That’s because Christians generally try to be moral people.  They’re at least aware of the Ten Commandments, which are really just basic rules for treating others respectfully – and something of which I wish a lot of atheists would at least have minimum comprehension.

 Conservatism, in its truest and most individualistic form, is the more respectful ideology:  Do what you want as long as it’s not disrespectful and doesn’t infringe on others’ individual rights.  We don’t go dressing like we just jumped out of a dumpster and shoving signs in people’s faces.  We tend to prefer to work through the more traditional channels, earning our right to make meaningful decisions.  But some people have stretched this equivalence between Christianity and respect to redefine conservatism and Christianity as one in the same.  It says a lot that we don’t even know if Prejean is really conservative, just that she’s Christian.  Liberals have Christians in their club, too.  We don’t own the market on them.  Nor should we try to use it to define our ideology.  People can be moral without being religious.  I’ll take those ones too, thanks.

Conservatives come in surprising packages – all of which should be welcomed.  In the absence of any real ideological declaration, various conservatives were quick to either claim or reject Prejean as conservative.  Who knows if she is or not – but if she wants to be one of us, she should be welcomed into the fray regardless.  As should any person who doesn’t fit the typical or traditional image of a conservative. 

As much as I may respect them, not every conservative has to look and sound like Newt Gingrich or Rush Limbaugh.  Nor do we all have to subscribe to the full meal deal of conservative talking points and values as constantly brayed by those who consider themselves the self-appointed arbiters for our entire movement.  We need to stop looking for a “leader”.  How ironic that the ideology of individualism and grand ideas, which ought to pride itself on being comprised of the millions of little individual think-tanks that each one of us represents, should be now be fretting over who will be telling us what to think as we move forward. 

We can be a pro-choice conservative because we assign a value to life as opposed to mere existence.  We can be in favor of gun control within cities because we understand that any perpetrator will always have the benefit of foresight, and because we’ve witnessed the TRAINED idiots at the shooting range and cringe at the idea of everyone packing heat while contending with the frustration of navigating New York City streets on a 100F summer day.  Those of us who have lived in Canada can accept that some aspects of that country’s health care system work wonderfully in light of its improvement by the incumbent Conservative Party, and shouldn’t automatically be dismissed with scare labels when exploring solutions and alternatives. 

And as conservatives, we reserve the right to change our minds as situations and issues evolve, and more information becomes available.  Because being conservative means being thoughtful and issue oriented as the waves of change crash up against our own personal unwavering core values and principles – not, as one friend of mine put it, “just zombies looking to eat liberal brains”.


Rachel Marsden is a political and media strategist, author and columnist, and the Editor-in-Chief of GrandCentralPolitical News Syndicate. This column also appears at Human Events.


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New Column: Be Like Barack

Be Like Barack

By:  Rachel Marsden

Who cares about substance when you have a great marketing slogan?  That seems to be the mentality of politicians trying to latch onto the Obamamessiah’s halo.  What do they have in common?  Less than appealing agendas.  Who are they appealing to?  People who will pretty much buy any piece of garbage they see in an advertisement – especially if the neighbor has one, too.

Barack Obama’s came to power on a simple slogan of “Yes, we can,”, and the fact that John McCain left zero daylight between himself and Obama on the one issue that really appeared to matter to voters:  the taxpayer funded economic bailouts.  If voters were going to elect someone for a spending spree, apparently they preferred that he be upbeat about it, and be unencumbered by friends who may guilt him into buyer’s remorse or make him pay attention to the price tags.  Voters knew Obama was at least going to spend their money with contagious enthusiasm and verve!  “Yes we can…blow out the treasury!”

Did anyone really know what, “Yes, we can!” meant?  No, not really.  And who really cared anyway.  We now live in a culture where words don’t mean much to a great many people.  Even as a business professional, I receive “xoxo’s”, “love”, and “kisses”, in business correspondence, from people I barely know.  Text messages are accompanied by symbols that take a millisecond to produce, and require about as much thought.  This is why, unlike ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, none of this e-trash is going to end up in museums, or analyzed for any sort of deep meaning 3,000 years from now.  It represents more of a fleeing urge, an emotional belch devoid of substance.  Humans have always had these, they just never felt compelled to share them – partly because it took some effort to produce.  We can no longer assume that when someone uses a word, it has any sort of true emotion or substance behind it.  So when someone asks, “What exactly does it mean when he says, ‘Yes, We Can”?” the onus isn’t on them – or Obama – to explain it, but rather on you for explaining why you’re being such a killjoy in asking that words actually be defined and assigned some sort of substance. 

But if you’re a shallow sort with unappealing ideas, then “Yes, we can!” is the perfect catch-all.  This linguistic muumuu will hide all your political flaws, and make you look appealing to any fools who can’t be bothered peeking underneath.  That is, until they wake up beside you someday after a wild night at the polls, and get an up-close look.

According to the UK Guardian, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, up for re-election in mid-June, is putting out videos featuring the slogan “We Can” in Farsi.  Why not use a line from the speech he gave this week in Syria?  How about this one:  “The Zionist occupiers are destructive microbes.”  Certainly it would be more indicative of his values and agenda.  Or how about this statement directed at President Obama, which, in a nutshell, captures his great love-hate emotional range:  “The gentleman’s support of the massacre of Gazans in support for the criminals who were responsible for that atrocity was a major mistake. I think that if Mr. Obama wants to help with the Palestinian issue, he has to move in accordance with justice, fair play.”

Or he could just be shown ripping up United Nations sanction letters while uranium centrifuges spin in the background.  That would do.

Next up:  The man who wants Conservative Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s job.  Michael Ignatieff was just elected Liberal Party leader over the weekend, to the tune of a speech that had audience members wildly repeating, “WE CAN!”  He spoke of a “message of hope”, and a “longing change sweeping across the land”. 

Wrong land, Iggy.  Ignatieff’s biggest problem is that Canada, under the leadership of Prime Minister Harper, has been singled out at various international meetings as being in the best shape to weather current economic difficulties.  Harper has kept bailouts and stimuli to a minimum, despite Liberal pleas to do otherwise – and no one is paying anyone else’s mortgage. 

So where’s the substance behind Obama’s borrowed rhetoric?  Right here:  He claimed at a business leaders’ meeting that he might want to raise taxes to deal with the national debt.  It gives new meaning to his “unity” rhetoric in his convention acceptance speech.  Apparently Canadians can count on the Ignatieff Liberals to unite their hard earned dollars with their neighbors’ wallets. 

Late last year, UK Tory leader David Cameron ripped off Obama’s “change” theme to promote his convention.  His opponent, current Labour PM Gordon Brown, is nearly 20 points behind in the polls and imploding.  Why adopt positions and policies that risk being unpopular when hollow rhetoric will suffice? 

The next time you hear a politician utter the marketing slogan, “Yes, we can!” – or some variation thereof – just replace it with “Tastes great, less filling!” and you’ll have a much better idea of what they’re really about.


Rachel Marsden is a political and media strategist, author and media personality, and the Editor-in-Chief of GrandCentralPolitical News Syndicate.  This column also appears in Human Events.

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New Column: World Panics Over New Media-Borne Virus

World Panics Over New Media-Borne Virus

By:  Rachel Marsden

When I first heard about Pigmageddon – the latest phenomenon set to wipe us all out, yet again – I was ironically just leaving a relatively empty screening of the new movie “Earth”, featuring dying polar bears, elephants lost in the ever-growing deserts, and great white sharks which, if you believe what you read at peak slow-news times, were only taking a brief respite from ravaging tourist beaches to earn their actor’s union card.  Tough luck, DisneyNature – no one cares about “climate change” right now. 

Our attention deficient culture has some new disaster porn, and it’s getting better TV ratings because, unlike the global warming phenomenon previously known as “seasons”, a virus actually kills people.  This disaster even has its own international scoreboard.  Every day, you can compare your national immunity with other countries’.  You can’t do that with the average flu!  This one’s special, because it hasn’t killed enough people yet to lose count.

The disease is striking hard in major world centers.  By this, I mean anywhere a government press conference is taking place on the issue.  And where there’s government involvement, there’s political sensitivity.

Israel is calling it the “Mexican flu”, because this virus apparently came from Mexico, where nearly all the deaths have occurred.  Well, that’s just not nice!  Obama’s administration wants to call it the “H1N1 virus”, and others have suggested “North American virus”.  The European Commission is calling it “novel flu”, which sounds like something you pick up during a visit to Barnes and Noble. 

But branding is everything, and no one really wants to die from a virus with a loser name.  How about just so-subtly calling it “pig flu”, in Spanish?  La Gripe De Puerco!  If the Mexicans don’t like it, or the Spanish feel it could be misattributed to them, let them take it up with the United Nations, or the International Criminal Court, or whatever useless bureaucratic entity has some free space on its schedule before we all get wiped out.

Speaking of which — who’s going to save us?  Why, the United Nations’ health department:  The World Health Organization!  So hang tight, they’re holding meetings.  April 27th’s chin-pulling session determined that the best course of action is to raise the worldwide panic (ie “pandemic alert”) level from 3 to 4, and NOT to close borders or restrict international travel.

France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy, responded by asking the entire European Union to restrict flights to Mexico.  Although judging by the speed at which this media-borne virus is spreading, by the time he gets an answer, he could have zombies knocking at the door of the Elysee.

Meanwhile, the border between America and Mexico remains wide open.  President Obama says it’s a “serious situation”, then did what comes naturally to him in stressful situations:  He reached into America’s piggy bank for $1.5 billion.  For what exactly?  Who knows.  But apparently the cure for this thing, like many other problems in life, is just a little retail therapy.

How seriously is Mexico taking this?  Very!  You can tell by all the Mexicans running around in paper masks from the dollar store in front of CNN’s medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who is apparently risking life and death to bring you the media coolness you have come to expect, by taking his off and slinging it around his neck whenever the red camera light goes on. 

Remember the last time you got sick with the flu and remembered, “Damn, I should never have let that guy on the subway cough straight into my mouth!  I should have known better from last year when that guy sneezed right into my face and up my nose!”  That’s what those masks are meant to prevent.  If they were any more useful, the Center for Disease Control would be kicking itself right now for investing all that money on respirators and full suits for their researchers.

But I’m sure your biggest concern with this media-borne quagmire is, “How is Hollywood handling all of this?”  Only a couple of weeks ago, Ashton Kutcher (backed by his wife Demi Moore and his friend P. Diddy) was in a death match with CNN and Larry King in their race to a million followers on the social networking website, Twitter.  In the process, they raised tens of thousands of dollars for malaria-countering bed nets in Africa.  Even Oprah pitched in.

That must really be a difficult thing to deal with – being so out of vogue, literally overnight, in their world-saving efforts.  Psyched out by malaria-carrying mosquitoes.  I wonder how George Clooney feels about sleeping with a pet pot-bellied pig all those years?  Does he feel some responsibility for coddling the enemy?  Kind of like when Rumsfeld shook Saddam Hussein’s hand back when Iraq was an ally, isn’t it, George?


Rachel Marsden is a political and media analyst, author, and the Editor-in-Chief of GrandCentralPolitical News Syndicate. This column also appears at Human Events.

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