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21 Questions by Zaya Kuyena

INTRODUCING my friend and guest blogger Zaya Kuyena.

One who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; one who does not ask a question remains a fool forever ~ Chinese Proverb

As the world tunes into an-(another) historical American Election, I remind myself one of my respected and admired American music artist from the city of Chicago. Lonnie Rashid Lynn better known as his stage name Common; he has a song titled ‘Questions’ (featuring Dante Smith) on his critically acclaimed 2000 album ‘Like Water for Chocolate’ which he recited a variety of questions that illuminate his perspective on life, concerns and self. Regardless of your knowledge of the artist or the lyrics, this jazzy-melodic song has inspired the conceptualization of my first post for Solar Crash.

During this historical and at times, sensationalized US Presidential Elections; my good friend and brother Lon has requested that I post my thoughts on his progressive blog. As I make my contributions for the next three days, I feel the need to assert that I don’t have all the right answers, but I do have intriguing questions that have stirred in my mind. Some recent inquiries and other long lasting ones that I have yet to rest with the seemingly shallow answers I’ve been spurred upon with to quiet my intellectual stimulus. So let two countdowns begin, one for the end of a tireless US Election. And the second, a countdown of what I’ve been wrestling with for the last 20 months and as some of my American friends have recently told me, “yearnings that people of colour have struggled asking for more than 200 years”.

1- Have people become too dependent on political polls to determine the Elections?

2- Will we continue to view the memorable political parody that has immerged from our television sets?

3- Why are some Canadians more betrothed in the U.S. Elections than their own Election?

4- Are we going to witness the first woman vice-president?

5- What will be the expectation after the Presidential inauguration on January 20 2009?

6- Will Sen. McCain regret his vice-president selection?

7- Will people continue to engage in the democratic political process beyond this year’s historical election?

8- Is one’s racial pigmentation a reasonable determinate for political alliance?

9- Will the American Dream be redefined in this new era of American politics?

10- Have Muslim Americans been properly advocated for during this past year’s discriminating discourse over one candidate’s speculated faith?

11- Could Barack Obama be a similar transformational political figure as Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau?

12- Why do the polls in the countries amongst the G20 mostly support Sen. Obama?

13- Will we begin to see more ethnic diversity within the Washington’s political circles such as Native Americans, Hispanics, and Asians?

14- Do celebrity involvement in campaigning make any on Election night?

15- Who would win between Stephen Colbert and John Stewart?

16- I heard a Quebec reporter in the last coming days utter the following questions: Is Obama a Moses-type of figure leading the American people out of Egypt?

17- Will young voters truly make an impact in this year’s election??

18- Will either candidate require a two term presidency to bring lasting change through the oval office?

19- Is not-voting in this year’s election an honourable act of civil disobedience against the greater issues at times not being addressed?

20- Why has Sarah Palin’s wardrobe received more attention than the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo?

21- And finally, what are your questions for this upcoming US Presidential Election?

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Lon November 3, 2008, 3:18 pm

    Great thoughts Zaya, i’ll pick a few in response for now…

    3… Canadians, as with many citizens of many other countries, are intrigued by the u.s. elections, because they really do have such global impact… and they’re great for high drama

    7. Really good question… my gut tells me people will continue to be engaged in the political process after the elections… IF Obama wins. Some people will have become too emotionally invested to withdraw, and sheer curiosity will remain

    13. Being asian, it’s never crossed my mind once that there could ever be an asian president… It’s interesting how much ‘equal opportunity’ is declared, but hasn’t quite translated into the psyche of people…

    20. It’s bizarre. I saw some coverage on the democratic republic of congo… but it quickly seemed to fade. We seem to love hearing about crazy and outlandish stories going on in the world, but quickly discard them if they don’t seem to immediately impact us.

  • Deana November 3, 2008, 6:35 pm

    Hi Zaya, interesting thoughts.

    This political season has been an incredible one. I for one am ready to see an end to it. I doubt those of you in Canada get a taste of the constant adverts we get here on the tv. I am so ready to watch tv, or open the newspaper without everything being about politics.

    I am also ready to move on to other topics of conversation amongst my friends…some of which agree my political views, but mostly the ones who don’t agree with my political views. There have been some trying conversations/debates about candidates between some of my dearest friends who don’t agree with me. And I am not a good debater…meaning I get my feelings hurt when people don’t see things the way I do. Must be the “feeler” in me.

    One thing that you wrote caught my attention especially. I am really tired of not seeing the real world’s news…like the crisis in the congo.
    You can go to this link and see some amazing photos on the crisis in the congo…

  • Deana November 3, 2008, 6:36 pm

    Oh and Zaya…that might be one of the most beautiful names I’ve heard!

  • Jake Belder November 4, 2008, 9:22 am

    Some great questions, Zaya! Let me see if I can take a stab at answering a few of them.

    6. I think he might. I certainly don’t think she has helped his cause any. At first, it seemed like a smart choice, off-setting the race card with the gender card. But once she opened her mouth and details about her previous political experiences came under scrutiny, that may have sealed the deal.

    9. That’s a fantastic question. I think it will, although I don’t think I can say specifically how at this point. But I do think that there are a couple of factors that will play into it. One, the fact that we have two unusual faces at the forefront of political change this year (a woman and a black man), will, I think–and hope, play a major role in opening the American mind to the concept of diversity. Second, and I think related to that, is the huge turnout among young voters this time around. I think they see that change and are embracing it. They really want something different. In some ways I think the American Dream as we know it now may have left something wanting in them, and they see something to grasp on to which may take that Dream in a different direction, something they can get on board with. Now I realize that’s a little abstract, and I don’t know that I can put it in more concrete terms than that right now, but maybe there is something underway. I suppose only time will tell.

    12. Simple. He’s not a threat, he eagerly wants to work diplomatically, and he is conscious of the world beyond the American border.

    20. Absolute nonsense, isn’t it! That’s the American media for you. There’s a perfect example of the gross individualistic and consumer spirit of America. No concern for those besides themselves, complete ignorance to what’s happening outside of the country (unless it’s a threat to them). It’s gross and repulsive.

    Great questions! Great discussion starter. Thanks for this.

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