For people throughout the rest of the world, the connection between these fairly disparate ideas is going to become clearer during the next ten months before the conventions that will precede the U.S. Presidential elections. As a quick insight though: Recognize that Presidents near the end of their terms can do almost anything, because negative reactions won’t change anything, while ‘wanna-be’ candidates must constantly put themselves in front of the public on any situation of interest, no matter how esoteric.
Strategically speaking, Barak Obama going to Alaska, returning the name of the highest mountain peak in North America to its Native Indian name (Denali), and filming an episode of natural wonders with well-known survival expert ‘Bear’ Grylls that relates directly to his environmental-climate change programs, seems a natural. Of course, depending on what publication one reads, many will feel “it’s only Obama trying to be a celebrity by being on a popular show,” even if the President (probably) won’t be eating some of the strange things Grylls gets many others to ingest.
So it goes. Compared to lining up with two dozen other guys in dark suits at an economic summit, Alaska is great TV, and when the episode airs, we’ll obviously see-hear the connection the Prez was trying to make. Yes, he’s making it on a popular show, but he can really get on TV *any time he wants*.
During the first ‘debate’ of the ten leading Republican candidates, they were called on to declare their religious convictions, although historically there has been a separation of Church and State in this country. Our earliest forefathers were willing to travel far, and overcome unknown difficulties in a strange land in order to pursue their religious ideals, and for almost 200 years, ‘God’ was everyone’s own personal situation.
Now, a minor official in Ohio has transformed her religious beliefs into a small event by refusing to do her (civil) appointed job-- and by defying an order by the United States Supreme Court-- chose jail over giving marriage licenses to gay couples. Based on media coverage, many will be amazed at how important that seems, and asking each candidate how they feel about it will make Congressional approval of the President’s negotiations on Iranian nuclear question seem trivial.
Northern Ireland’s Protestants and Catholics stopped shooting and bombing each other without end long ago, but Shi’ites and Sunnis with suicide bombs killing 150 ‘wrongful believers’ while injuring hundreds more in places of worship-- and ISIS having its own savage brand of extremism-- make many in this country glad that we have ‘religious tolerance’ here. Americans in general hope ‘those guys’ (in Middle East) figure out “you can’t let a rabid dog (ISIS) walk around town biting people, you have to put it down.”
It’s a President’s prerogative to return native names to mountains, and requires little extra comment. Living in ‘The Buckle on the Bible Belt’ (Charlotte, NC), one cannot drive two minutes without coming across a church of some denomination—there are 1,194 listings—so ‘#Religion’ counts more than some places. In watching US politics though, seeing how convoluted the Republican candidates get about supporting (or trying to stay clear of) the beliefs of one small civil servant should be amusing, not a worry. #Election 2016 #GOP