This week's music video selection is in honor of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. We've seen the Republican game plan last week, with the lies, omission of political figures they don't want Americans to be reminded of (Bush, Cheney, Palin, Bachmann, Perry and Cain), and the strange performance of old man Clint ranting at an empty chair. We also saw just how white the convention delegates are, with most of the minorities giving speeches and so few among the delegates that it actually makes a safe drinking game (if you have a shot of Tequila for every minority you see, you won't be getting anywhere near drunk).
As I think about what President Obama is up against, particularly the Republican message to blame Obama for not being able to fix the mess that they created over a span of eight years, a song kept coming to my mind: "Things Can Only Get Better" by Howard Jones. Things were really bad in the last few years of the Bush Administration and it appears that Americans have forgotten just how bad if they think Romney (who doesn't reveal his plans for America out of fear that he won't be elected) will improve things. His whole rationale for being president is purely selfish: (1) He wants to surpass his father's accomplishments (his father had dropped out of the Republican primary in 1968 after saying that he was "brainwashed" by military brass on Vietnam); and (2) he wants to be the third most famous Mormon in history (after founder Joseph Smith, Jr. and the man who led the pioneers to Utah, Brigham Young). Also, his wealthy backers want him to complete the agenda that Bush was unable to do: privatize Social Security, end Medicaid, and destroy Medicare by converting it to a worthless voucher.
Things have gotten better under Obama. For one thing, he is the first president since George Herbert Walker Bush (1989-1993) where no terrorist attack has happened in the U.S. Another is the passage of the Affordable Care Act, though its far from a perfect thing (Public Option and Single Payer are absolute musts). He saved the American auto industry (General Motors and Chrysler). He saved Libyan rebels from being slaughtered to death by Muamar Gadhafi and helped that country dispose of their dictator without a single American casualty (shades of Clinton's successful Kosovo war). Obama is an inspiring leader in the world and popular in foreign countries that hated the previous tenet of the White House. There's a lot of things that still need to be achieved, but it would not make sense to turn back to Bush-era policies now. Things are improving, even if they aren't exactly where we think it should be at this point. People don't seem to understand just how close our country came to another Great Depression. Had Americans elected John McCain in 2008, we would likely be in such dire straits as a country. Things are getting better.
As for this classic song from the 1980s, it does sound a lot dated (nothing says "80s" like synthesizer pop, big hair, and neon colours everywhere). However, from the lyrics, you can see just how timeless and relevant it is today. It's kind of ironic that I'm featuring a Reagan-era pop song to say this week that "Things Can Only Get Better", but it fits. Enjoy!
"We're not scared to lose it all
Security throw through the wall
Future dreams we have to realize
A thousand skeptic hands
Won't keep us from the things we plan
Unless we're clinging to the things we prize
And do you feel scared - I do
But I won't stop and falter
And if we threw it all away
Things can only get better
Whoa, whoa whoa whoa oh oh
Treating today as though it was
The last, the final show
Get to sixty and feel no regret
It may take a little time
A lonely path, an uphill climb
Success or failure will not alter it"