18 February 2008
Skating the ice
I have to admit one of my deep dark secrets is...
I was once a HUGE hockey fan.
HUGE. Pathetically. I even dated the goalie for the rival high school. Over the weekend the movie, Miracle, was on TV. Brought it all back.
Back in the day, which would be sometime in the late 70s to mid-80s, I was obsessed with hockey. I knew all the teams and knew all the players. I hated the New York Islanders and the Boston Bruins with a green and gold passion since both teams always managed to edge out the Minnesota Northstars.
Somewhere along the line, the North Stars headed to Dallas and professional hockey left Minnesota. By this time I wasn't even watching anymore.
But, even people who didn't like hockey remember the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid. Everyone has heard the story of how US college kids bested the unbeatable Reds. It was a great source of national pride.
The US embassy had been attacked in Iran by a group of militants and 52 diplomats were taken hostage. One of the militants has been identified as current Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Russians had invaded Afghanistan, drawing the US into the conflict. Iran-Iraq war was still simmering. Saddam Hussein was in power and so was the Ayatollah Khomeini. Back home, Jimmy Carter was busy giving away the farm to the Russians, the economy was bottoming, there were gas shortages and all we had to relieve our distress was Jimmy's clown and beer-drinking brother, Billy.
The US was ripe for some good news, some national pride. Then the US Olympic hockey team scored big on our own home ice. Reagan became president. The hostages were freed. Finally, there was light on our domestic and international landscape.
Nearly 30 years later, it seems our country is looking for the same shot in the arm. Oddly, our problems are much the same. This time, however, we are the ones in Afghanistan. The Middle East remains a political quagmire and our old friend, Mahmoud, is still sticking it to us. Gas and some commodities are at an all time high and the housing market is in a tail-spin. Once again, the American president is making us cringe and the economy is tanking.
Even though our problems may be much the same, it doesn't appear that our knight in shining armor is about to arrive. History may not repeat itself with our next president.
The Republicans have no candidate who reflects what most of the party stands for. John McCain, Mitt Romney, Rudy, et. al., none of them lined up with me on the issues I considered most important. They have all shown an incredible lack of character and integrity, taking opportunistic positions, changing positions and maintaining indefensible positions. There is no Reagan on the horizon, not by a mile.
Obama and Hillary are even further apart from me on just about every issue. Obama appears to be basket that everyone is dumping their hopes into. And, like Caroline said, he does remind me of her father: charismatic, but short on delivering the goods. I think people are excited about him because there just has to be something we can take pride in. Anything. Don't look too closely, just get on board.
The Summer Olympics don't hold much hope either. In a word: China.
I should get back to watching hockey. Winning US Olympic hockey goalie, Jim Craig, is currently a motivational speaker. Maybe he's what we need right now to get us through the next election because there isn't much else to grab onto.
"Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy."
-Lloyd Bentsen to Dan Quayle during the 1988 debates
Posted by swissmiss at 3:17 PM