Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler praises President Barack Obama in an entry for Dave Eggers and Jordan Kurland’s political project 90 Days, 90 Reasons, and quips that, as an American living in Canada, he’d like “four more sweet years of Canadians liking Americans.” Full text of the letter follows below.
Barack Obama is perhaps the greatest president of modern times at communicating directly with foreign populations. He has also changed the way the government communicates with its own citizens about the outside world.
I am excited for four more years of an Obama presidency for many reasons, but the one I am going to write about is selfish: I want four more sweet years of Canadians liking Americans. The Republicans will try to convince America that President Obama being a good communicator is somehow a bad thing. Often times politicians act as if the only use of public speaking is trying to get elected. In fact, this kind of personal charisma is perhaps the most direct way a president can pursue America’s interests abroad. Being able to communicate in a compelling way, and engaging other countries as partners and adults, is in America’s best interest.
There was a great example of this over the summer when Mitt Romney visited London for the Olympic games. In attempting to pander to a U.S. audience and show how “presidential” he was, he ended up convincing our greatest ally that he’s prone to terrible gaffes that could jeopardize relationships with our allies – delicate relationships where a few misplaced words can do great harm.
The most compelling recent example of President Obama’s abilities as a communicator came in his recent address to the United Nations. This speech was broadcast all over Canada and the world, and it detailed America’s vision for human rights, democratic change in the Middle East and its priority to change the global status of women.
I felt so proud – as an American citizen living in a socially progressive country like Canada – that our president understands that there are global moral imperatives that unite us all.