My hometown of Fargo, North Dakota doesn’t get a lot of play. We’re most known for either the movie Fargo that was not actually filmed here and really has nothing to do with the town or for our flooding issues that are neither welcome nor exciting. To put it plainly, it’s a big deal when someone important comes to town. Scratch that, it’s a HUGE deal. In the world of politics, we’re not a swing state. Hell, we aren’t even a big state. With roughly 684,000 people in the entire state, we’re oftentimes overlooked unless you’re interested in our somewhat recent oil boom or want to make fun of us for something that isn’t close to realistic.
That being said, there has been a massive and somewhat nasty political race going on between Senator Rick Berg and Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota. While the ads both in the mail and on television have gotten beyond the point of annoying and ridiculous, there’s a reason for them. This election matters. Not just for the presidency, but for many states as well. As annoyed as I’ve become with it all, tonight gave me a reason to understand the importance of this race.
I’m sure the title gave everything away, but I’m writing this post to talk about how President Bill Clinton came to town tonight. Nobody knew he was coming until yesterday, so Fargo grew very excited in a very short amount of time. Clinton came to support Democrat Heidi Heitkamp who was North Dakota’s Attorney General during both terms of his presidency.
I’m not going to spend this post writing about who I’m voting for and why. This isn’t a political blog, after all. No, I am writing this post because I adore President Clinton. He is one of my two living heroes. (If you guessed J.K. Rowling as the second, you are correct.) I loved listening to him speak as a child, even if I was too young to really understand what he was talking about. Every word is spoken so eloquently and with a passion that is rare in today’s world of American politics. More than anything else, he’s more intelligent than the other guys. If I were to make a list of my favorite presidents, he would easily be at the top. He has a genuine heart and a natural goodness that, like his passion, is rare.
Despite my hating it when people talk about the movie Fargo in relation to the town, I loved President Clinton’s story about how Fargo was the cult film on Air Force One during his presidency. He also said he’d like to take the wood chipper from the movie that’s currently in Fargo and use it a couple days before the election. That got the whole room laughing. He has that natural sense of humor that could work in any room, no matter the party. Whether or not you believe in his policies, to say he isn’t funny would make me question your sense of humor. Also, if you’re wondering about the saxophone, that did not make an appearance.
America is in a delicate place at the moment. Election season is getting brutal, and I’m starting to wonder if some people even know what each candidate stands for and believes in. They know them as Democrat or Republican and fill in the circle. Again, I’m not going to rant about why I like or dislike a candidate. Instead, I want to stress the importance of voting based on what a candidate believes in and what they want to do or change instead of basing a vote on party. I don’t respect President Clinton because he’s a Democrat. I respect him because he truly believes in America, speaks passionately about what he believes in, and tells it like it is. While I didn’t get to meet him, I will treasure this experience for the rest of my life. Rock on, Bill.