The Pose Goes On

In keeping with the Uncle Sam tradition, I chose this spin-off as my next subject.

When you think about it, all politicians DO exhibit a characteristic Uncle Sam pose at one time or another, don’t they?

WE WANT YOU - Channeling Uncle Sam's favorite pose, modern-day politicians use it for the same effectiveness, primarily to encourage citizen involvement in politics.

Looking straight at the American public, they point their promises and emphasize alignment with U.S. citizens. Emphatically swearing to change this, better that, and improve everything, they sound good to eager ears.

Just as Uncle Sam recruited millions into the army, politicians today are encouraging involvement in politics by making citizens feel obligated to participate, else be viewed as lackluster patriots.

Uncle Sam wanted citizens to be on board with America and support the land of opportunity. Modern politicians recall his methods to rally support for themselves and lure the American public into feeling engaged in the political world.

With meaningful expressions (although Obama and Clinton don’t achieve the same level of sincerity as Uncle Sam), politicians remind the public that their votes matter, their ideas matter, they matter. And the people, unaware that this showing is mostly a put-on in modern day politics, naively eat it all up.

Almost Like A Stamp

It’s almost like a stamp.

This piece of political art, showing Bill Clinton—complete with an ‘I’m Awesome’ look in his eye and a stereotypical cool-guy head jerk—is etched on a street corner in Berlin, Germany.

STAMPING GROUNDS - On a street corner in Berlin, Germany, this stamped stencil graffiti calls President Clinton a pimp in reference to his extramarital affair with White House intern Monica Lewinksy.

It reflects an opinion on the Monica Lewinksy sex scandal that came to light in 1998 concerning an extramarital affair between United States President Bill Clinton and 22 year-old Lewinsky, a White House intern at the time. While the relationship was kept under wraps until 1998, it was allegedly begun in 1995 when Lewinsky first began her internship.

The subsequent investigation of the nature of the relationship led to the impeachment of President Clinton by the House of Representatives, although he was later acquitted of all impeachment charges of perjury and obstruction of justice by a Senate trial.

Only six years old at the time, I do not remember the news or the reactions that followed. I don’t remember any detail about Clinton’s presidency, and it’s probably a safe bet that most of the American public doesn’t recall anything other than the scandal. It’s likely even a guarantee that a majority of the public can recite on-the-spot the phrase which is debatably the most famous line ever said by Clinton: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” He didn’t know when he was saying it that he’d just created a great punch line.

Another equally brilliant line uttered by Clinton, although perhaps less well-known, was in reference to the meaning of the word ‘is’ (since that clearly confuses so many). In response the truthfulness of his statement that “there is not a sexual relationship, an improper sexual relationship or any other kind of improper relationship,” Clinton answered that it depended on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. Now THAT’s desperation. Talk about REALLY reaching for something.

Whatever good may have been remembered about Clinton and his presidency, it was, and still is, completely overshadowed by that scandal. The Lewinksy affair is a dark mark on his term in office and on his reputation as a man.

Almost like a stamp.