Every Election Summed Up In Two Lines - Macleans.ca

Every Election Summed Up In Two Lines


I mentioned the musical Fiorello! in my post on Tom Bosley, but I didn’t mention a couplet from one of the songs that always seems appropriate after (or before) an election, and one of the few quotes that genuinely applies sometimes no matter which side you’re on. It’s from the song “The Bum Won,” where political power brokers react in shock to Fiorello LaGuardia’s victory in a Congressional election (he only got the nomination because they needed somebody to run and lose). One member of the ensemble sings these lines, by lyricist Sheldon Harnick:

Who’d ever guess that the people would go to the polls and elect a fanatic?
People can do what they want to, but I got a feeling it ain’t democratic.

I think we can at least agree that we all feel that way after some elections.

Speaking of musicals, the writer Joseph Stein died recently at the age of 98. His name isn’t well-known — book writers, the guys who get all the blame and little of the credit in musical theatre, rarely are well-known — but he wrote the book for Fiddler On the Roof and many other musicals, including Zorbá, Take Me Along (which won a Tony award for Jackie Gleason), Plain and Fancy (the first hit musical about the Amish), Juno, the cult musical adaptation of Sean O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock, Stephen Schwartz’s out-of-town cult flop The Baker’s Wife, as well as Enter Laughing, the successful nonmusical play based on the book by Carl Reiner. Obviously Fiddler is his most important and enduring credit, a beautiful job of adaptation that stitches together Aleichem’s stories, the Chagall painting that inspired the title character, and many old Borscht-Belt Jewish jokes into one of the ultimate examples of the Serious Musical Comedy, a show that deals with serious topics in a non-frivolous way while still being funny nearly all the way through.

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Every Election Summed Up In Two Lines

  1. Fiorello! is an awesome musical. Another good line:
    Politics and poker, politics and poker,
    Shuffle up the cards and find the Joker
    Neither game's for children
    Either game is rough
    Decisions decisions like
    Who to pick, when to play, how to spot a bluff!

    • And of course, the eternally-relevant brilliance of "Little Tin Box."

  2. I don't feel that way after elections. If my favourite candidate doesn't win, it doesn't make the result undemocratic.

  3. I think we can at least agree that we all feel that way after some elections.

    LOL Don't cry, lefty. Democracy is a bummer, isn't it? You can't always get what you want.

    • You think only lefties feel like that? That's a bit like thinking that only lefties display the Pauline Kael "I don't know who anyone who voted for him" syndrome (though I shouldn't use Kael as an example of that, since she didn't actually say that).

      • You think only lefties feel like that?

        Yes. Certainly much more than righties. Canada had 13 years of uninterrupted Liberal majority rule. Canada has had 4 years of uninterrupted Conservative minority rule.

        But for the last four years, talking to leftists, you'd think that Harper is a Castro/Jong-Il/Chavez style tyrant and that 100 consecutive years of Liberal dictatorship would be better. Leftists don't like democracy.

        The same phenomenon has happened in Ontario, where Dalton has been running the show for 8 years, just as long as the "dark days of Mike Harris", but somehow people manage to blame Harris for everything, 10 years later. Leftists don't like democracy.

        And finally, there is Toronto, which endured the most embarrassing and pointless municipal strike recently, a strike in which the mayor Miller prostrated before the unions after he forced the citizenry to endure mountains of garbage in their inner-city parks, a crowning end to his 7 year tenure. And yet, all we could hear from the leftists was the horror to be inflicted by the menace of Ford. Leftists don't like democracy.

        No matter how bad their leaders may be, and how much they deserve to lose, leftists would prefer to have their ideologies trump democracy. They believe they know better than everyone else, and they believe their opponents are evil, even when their opponents garner 47% of the vote. And whenever they lose, they feel that way. Every time.

        Conservatives lose their fair share, but they don't dwell on it the way leftists do.

        Now, I can't say whether you feel that way all of the time, most of the time, or just some of the time, I'm just going by my general observations. Maybe it doesn't apply to you.

        Others have noticed it too… http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer

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