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21 Feb. 2016 

U.S. election: How the world sees it

There was a time when we Canadians experienced U.S. election campaigns in the same way that a grandmother experienced bingo: The only reason we watched was to hear our numbers called out. Free trade, acid rain, softwood lumber, NORAD, border security. These were the entries on our game sheet -- the only ones we cared about.

All that has changed over the last decade: Thanks to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other free trade mechanisms, most of the bilateral issues between Canada and the United States have been resolved. Fear of the American colossus, once the great neurosis of Canadian public life, is now very much in decline.

In fact, the sense of intimidation that we once felt has been turned on its head: Many Canadians now observe America's political spectacle with a sense of smugness. The unhinged rhetorical fusillades and open conspiracism of Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, in particular, have become a form of ironic reality show entertainment. "I would build a great wall" and all the rest are laugh lines in the Canadian media.

But it is nervous laughter they elicit. We wonder: How could this great nation to our south -- a beacon of liberty, and the West's great protector -- have become a place where popular presidential candidates jabber about banning Muslims, or casually propose "carpet bombing" Middle Eastern population centers?

Dig beneath the spasms of insecurity, fear and smugness that Canada's intellectual class has exhibited toward the United States, and you find an underlying attitude of warmth among ordinary people. Most of us travel to America, at least occasionally, for vacations and work. We talk to Americans every day on Facebook and Twitter, watch the same TV shows, follow the same sports.

America is a friend, in other words. Even left-leaning Canadians politicians such as Justin Trudeau will tell you as much.

But the face that this friend has shown us during the current presidential campaign -- of naked religious bigotry, of race paranoia, of curdled nostalgia for mythologized "greatness" -- is not a face we recognize or appreciate. And once the voting is done on November 8, we hope it is a face that Americans never show to the world again.

Jonathan Kay is editor of The Walrus magazine magazine.

South Africa: It's Trump this and Trump thatDonald Trump? After Barack Obama? For those South Africans paying attention at this point in the U.S. presidential race, the primary campaign has prompted furrowed eyebrows. Indeed, the word "incredulous" best describes the response here to Trump's howl-a-minute, holler-a-minute, horror-a-minute bid to become the Republican nominee.

When Obama was running for the White House, it felt like a home race -- and then a home run -- for many South Africans. We were transfixed, as was most of sub-Saharan Africa, at the sight of this young, lanky, beautiful, clever, black man stepping up to take one of the most powerful jobs in the world. And then there was Michelle Obama. And Malia. And Sasha. It was black can-do in a perfect package.

Obama's campaign of hope and change energized us, and biographies flew up the bestseller lists here. Of course, Obama's message of hope and change have grayed at the temples, just like his hair has. True, he has managed to put in place a system that is transforming health care, and under his administration's watch, sexual orientation is now just that -- a sexual orientation, not some kind of abomination in the eyes of the law. True, he didn't manage to close Gitmo, or end the conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq, but his presidency has still been transformative.

Now the same country that elected Obama seems to be toying with the idea of electing a comb-over king who doesn't seem to like Muslims and Mexicans very much, leaving some here to wonder what he feels about black Americans and Africans.

I realize that Trump isn't the only one running for president, but as in the United States, he has dominated the coverage of the race, and the other candidates have simply not found space in South Africa's coverage of the primaries, outside of small, intellectual circles. It is Trump this and Trump that, outdoing himself again and again with his bigotry.

Even the fact that the United States might elect its first woman president in the shape of Hillary Clinton has not yet become a talking point, although here sub-Saharan Africa has already bested the United States -- Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has been president of Liberia since 2006.

So the focus has been on Trump, who unfortunately has run an insular campaign. If asked about his African foreign policy, I fear it would sound something like this: "Kenya? Isn't that the place where Obama was born?"

Ferial Haffajee is editor of City Press newspaper.

Britain: America should elect a BritBritish understanding of the U.S. election is, as always, prejudiced. Sympathy is overwhelmingly with Hillary Clinton because we know very little about her, she isn't a Republican, she's a woman, and we like Bill Clinton. Sexual misdemeanor rarely kills a political reputation in Britain. We're obsessed with money: Overcharge the taxpayers for official use of stationery and you risk assassination.

News coverage is dominated by Donald Trump. He reminds us of Gordon Gekko, but without the sex appeal. Britons find having money embarrassing and boasting about it nauseating -- and The Donald makes matters worse by challenging our multicultural sensitivities. Trump has been criticized by the Prime Minister, and members of Parliament debated banning him from Britain.

The debate was widely mocked. It was an illiberal excuse to virtue signal, and some MPs appeared to forget that Trump has invested generously in our country. A lone, brave MP admitted that many of his constituents share Trump's views. No one pointed out that Britain might just as easily ban President Barack Obama on the grounds that his administration has deported record numbers of illegal immigrants, or that UK citizens have been denied entry to the United States apparently on the basis that they are Muslim.

The ideal president for the Brits would be religiously agnostic, Keynesian and wary of intervention in foreign wars. In other words, we'd like America to elect a Brit. Assuming this does not happen, attention is falling on Bernie Sanders. Britain's Labour Party, the official opposition, last year elected a radical socialist in a grassroots democratic revolution -- and we see parallels with Sanders. (Although Sanders is, by comparison, a centrist).

Finally, the big issues for Britain are the war in Syria, the problem of integrating Muslim migrants and a promised referendum on our membership of the EU. The Brits would most like to know what the U.S. plan is for the Middle East. Across Europe, the lack of American leadership on foreign affairs is noted and regretted. Our own leaders have failed to fill the vacuum. The result: the bodies of refugee children washing up on European beaches. America desperately needs to talk about this.

Tim Stanley is a columnist with The Daily Telegraph.

Venezuela: Time for a thaw in tiesSo, here we are in the midst of the U.S. presidential campaign. Meanwhile, relations between Venezuela and the United States have been on hold, with neither country having appointed an ambassador to the other since 2010. Yet despite the "anti-Yankee" narrative of the late former President Hugo Chavez, this is by no means a relationship of equal weight.

While the United States seems to be in the headlines in Venezuela every other day, Venezuela hasn't been discussed in the current presidential campaign, not even after the country's opposition took control of the country's National Assembly after 16 years in the wilderness. (Of course it's not just Venezuela that has been overlooked -- Mauricio Macri's election in Argentina hasn't been talked about, either -- so much for the influence of Latin America's misnamed "progressive left").

And maybe it's better that way. Everybody -- even The Donald -- knows current Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is not Chavez. But what is remaining of "Chavismo" should be left to focus on domestic affairs. Indeed, judging by the very real problems facing the country, the U.S. candidates shouldn't give Venezuela's government an opportunity to distract the attention from these problems. So, please, don't mention Venezuela.

What are the problems that Venezuela should be left alone to wrestle with?

Well, this oil-rich country is experiencing the worst crisis in its modern history -- the IMF expects the country's inflation rate to hit 720% this year, even as it grapples with food and medicine shortages. Meanwhile, the price of oil -- the government's main source of income -- has tumbled to below $30 a barrel. With this in mind, Venezuelans aren't currently worried or even thinking about the American presidential race at this point -- they have bigger problems right now, problems that are closer and feel much more real.

This doesn't stop some elements of Chavismo from still blaming the United States -- Democrats and Republicans -- for their misfortune. And the Venezuelan government has accused Washington of inciting conflict so it can take control of the largest oil reserves in the world. This even as at it continues to sell oil to the United States, which means by its own logic it is filling the tank of its imagined invader.

The truth is, though, that while oil imports from Venezuela represent only about 9% of American needs, the United States remains the biggest buyer of Venezuelan oil exports. Do the math and you can see why the government's rhetoric is divorced from economic reality.

Cuba, which blames the infamous U.S. embargo for all its problems, has managed to restore diplomatic relations with the United States after some 50 years. I can only hope that whoever is elected in November, relations between Washington and Caracas improve -- and that we don't risk our own five decades of estrangement.

Mary Aviles is a journalist and co-founder of Venezuela Decoded.

Israel: Will next president protect 'unbreakable bond'?In my Jerusalem neighborhood caf one cold morning in January, a colleague and I randomly asked three Israelis who they would like to be the next president of the United States. As you might expect, we got three very different answers. "I like Bernie Sanders," said the young man as he made my coffee. "The things he says make sense." The proprietor, preparing a cheese sandwich, disagreed. "Donald Trump is not afraid to say what a lot of people are thinking." A woman sitting in the caf said she had no strong feelings about the subject. "I don't support any candidate," she said. "It's not our election."

I don't pretend to speak for all or even some Israelis. My gut feeling, though, is that many have a visceral mistrust of U.S. President Barack Obama, especially after he focused his energy on a deal with Iran, Israel's archenemy. At the same time, no one really knows if Trump or Sanders or Hillary Clinton, for that matter, would be any better for Israel than Obama, who maintained a high level of U.S. aid to Israel and even quipped that he had been called America's first Jewish president. As Israel reels from a tsunami of terrorism amid a moribund peace process with the Palestinians, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carsen and Jeb Bush have been much more outspoken in their support for the Jewish state, but this has not resonated with the Israeli public or in the media.

Israelis want a U.S. president who will both say and do the right things, while not allowing any "daylight" in Jerusalem's "unbreakable bond" with Washington. In this respect, they might deep down hope for the victory of either one of the frontrunners, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, because they might ultimately have Israel's back. For better or worse, Clinton and Trump may also be the only two candidates that most Israelis can easily identify. Except perhaps for Sanders or Michael Bloomberg, one of whom really could be America's first Jewish president.

Steve Linde is editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post.

Iran: Why Iranians want a DemocratIt's probably too early for the Iranian public to decide on its preferred U.S. presidential candidate. At this point most Iranians just don't know enough about the individual contenders. But they do know the differences between the parties -- and what that could mean for ties between the two nations.

Iranians are hoping to see relations improve based on recent diplomatic achievements, while the implementation of the nuclear deal and the recent prisoner swap raised hopes that a Democratic president will follow in President Barack Obama's footsteps.

"The continuation of Obama's policy is what Iranians are interested to continue," one prominent Iranian political figure told me. She also told me that she believes reformists and ordinary Iranians want a Democrat to win in November, no matter who comes out on top in the primaries.

This isn't surprising -- the majority of Iranians view the diplomacy pursued by President Obama and the moderate government of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani with approval, and they support the continuing progress. Direct contacts between Tehran and the United States after more than three decades of being on hold are a unique experience for many Iranians, who believe the Democrats offer the best chance of this continuing.

In contrast, the idea of a Republican victory in November conjures images of George W. Bush's presidency and his "Axis of Evil" speech. The hostility such rhetoric stoked against the Islamic Republic empowered Iran's conservatives, troubled reformists and journalists, and helped undermine the reform-minded presidency of Mohammad Khatami a decade ago.

As a result, many Iranians see conservative Republicans much like they do extremists in Iran -- as determined to shatter current progress if they take power. One need only look at the disdain they have shown for the nuclear deal -- and the threats by some to tear up the agreement.

But there is a certain irony in the tough line being taken by the Republican candidates -- electing a conservative Republican could also have an impact on the next presidential election in Iran, and not in the way they might be hoping. The fact is that extreme talk fuels animosity in Iran -- and increases the chances of Tehran's hardliners seizing power. And that is presumably not what they intend.

Camelia Entekhabifard is an Iranian-American journalist and author of "Save Yourself By Telling the Truth."

Japan: Candidates should drop fear-mongeringLast week, I was covering a Bernie Sanders rally in Iowa, and asked a 77-year-old man for his thoughts on the presidential race. After an initial visible look of panic passed over his face, we started talking, and I explained that I am a correspondent for a Japanese newspaper. When he heard that, he gave me a big a smile and started telling me how much he loved his Toyota, which he said he had been driving for decades.

That sort of warm reaction was a big contrast from the mood during my days as a student around 25 years ago, when I lived in Des Moines, Iowa. Back then, a trade dispute defined relations between the United States and Japan -- and not in a good way.

Just consider a New York Times article from July 1990, which cited a recent poll asking about potential threats to the United States. It found 58% of Americans saw Japan's economic power as a bigger threat to the United States than the Soviet Union's military power.

That's quite a statistic. Of course, fast forward to today, and the idea that Japanese economic might somehow endangers Americans is almost laughable after two decades of deflation in Japan. But that earlier poll came at a time when Japanese-manufactured cars were being vandalized on the streets of Detroit, and anti-Japanese rhetoric was seen as a vote-winner. Indeed, "Japan-bashing" was a central theme of Dick Gephardt's presidential bid in 1988.

Few people remember such details in this forward-looking great nation. But I have been reminded of these types of attitudes -- and how divisive they can be -- when I hear Republican candidate Donald Trump on the campaign trail.

As he launched his campaign last summer, Trump said countries like China, Japan and Mexico are "killing us" economically. "Our country is in serious trouble," he said. "We don't have victories anymore. We used to have victories, but we don't have them."

I'm not going to argue with this diagnosis -- plenty of people already have. But what is troubling is the way Trump and other candidates have tried to stoke people's fears about other nations and their people as a way of collecting votes. Trump may be the most explicit and controversial in doing so, but he is by no means the only one, at either end of the political spectrum, to suggest that America should be scared.

If I am back in Iowa in another 25 years, I am pretty confident that many of the fears expressed by the public -- and being preyed upon by candidates -- will seem like a distant memory. But in the meantime, I wonder how much damage is being done.

Koya Ozeki is the Washington correspondent for the Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan's largest newspaper.

Russia: Why the Kremlin wants TrumpIf you ask the average Russian who is running for president in America, you'll most likely get raised eyebrows instead of an answer. But one does not have to be a prophet to predict that if Donald Trump wins Iowa, Russian TV will be overjoyed.

The once seemingly endless debate among the Russian establishment over whether a Democratic or Republican president would be better has long seemed pointless. After all, Russia seemed to be getting along with George W. Bush -- who once saw Vladimir Putin's soul in his eyes -- before an awkward confrontation as Russia invaded the Georgian provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in August 2008. And although Barack Obama "reset" ties with Russia, his administration's policy was thwarted with the annexation of Crimea and Russian military engagement in Ukraine.

President Putin likely knows he will never be regarded as a legitimate partner by any mainstream president of the United States. So it's now all about Trump, who challenges not a political camp, but the core of the U.S. system itself. It was not by accident that Putin endorsed him last December, and the official Russian media has taken the same line since then. Edouard Limonov, once a rebellious Russian writer, put it bluntly in the pro-Kremlin Izvestia daily: "We prefer Trump because he accepts Russia as the state of the tough men."

Ultimately, the Kremlin takes a two-pronged approach to the United States. Tactically, Russian authoritarianism presents itself as not all that different from Western liberal democracies. The argument goes that both kinds of regimes are flawed, with their strings pulled by forces from behind the curtain. Indeed, Putin is always keen to emphasize flaws in the American democracy, usually pointing out that George H.W. Bush won the presidency in 2000 despite losing the popular vote. In doing so, he seems to be sending a message to his nation that rigged elections in Russia are somehow a similar phenomenon.

Strategically, though, relations with the West are seen as a zero-sum game, and anything that can be seen as an American failure -- whether on the battlefields of Syria or in domestic electoral politics -- is seen as a reason to celebrate in Moscow.

And from this perspective, Vladimir Putin looks at Mr. Trump -- a populist who seems willing to throw the usual values to the wind -- as his natural ally, and a potential vehicle for his own global interests. If Trump secures the Republican nomination, Russian officialdom can be expected to celebrate his victory much like Napoleon celebrated his triumph in the battle of three emperors at Austerlitz two centuries ago.

Mikhail Fishman is editor in chief of The Moscow Times.

India: Why India is starting to pay attentionUp until 9 p.m. on January 25, Donald Trump was largely unknown to probably all but a relative handful of India's 1.2 billion people -- those who could afford to buy a pad in his eponymous towers in prosperous western Indian cities; maybe a few more who caught him on "The Apprentice."

But within less than an hour on Monday, "Donald who?" turned to "Donald why?" as Arnab Goswami, the nation's noisiest purveyor of nightly outrage, and his co-panelists, went full pelt on prime time TV at the Republican hopeful's pointed reference to a turbaned protester at a rally. That's what it takes -- a perceived racial slight and a lot of shouting -- to get Indians to realize that Americans are trying to find a new tenant for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

So far, it is safe to assume that most news consumers have no idea who is eyeing the property. Hillary Clinton, they might know about because of the surname. But Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders could be beach bums bouncing alongside Pamela Anderson in "Baywatch" for all most people know. Not that we are insular or uninterested, just that no one's caught our fancy yet. It's all a bit of a white blur.

At Outlook, a TIME-style weekly news magazine I edit, we twice considered putting the U.S. elections on the cover in the past year. "Is America ready for a Lady President?" was our working title until Hillary's emails showed up. "The All-American Idiot" was another one we mulled when Trump went ballistic after the Paris attacks.

We didn't go ahead with either because it seemed too early, and neither candidate had said anything of note on the only topic that grips Indians, young or old: American visas. Now that Trump is trying to control the damage his abrasive comments have made to Indian immigrants, maybe the time is nigh.

So maybe we will dub Trump "The Over Achiever" if he wins the nomination. After all, we awarded Barack Obama the opposite label four years ago, before he set out to prove us spectacularly wrong (and did so well that our prime minister was impressed enough to call him by his first name 17 times in his monthly radio address).

Come to think of it, hopefully we will be proved wrong about this one, too.

Krishna Prasad is editor of Outlook magazine.

Lebanon: U.S. election far from local storyThe U.S. presidential election has long ceased to be just a local American story, and with the campaigns approaching the final stretch as the primaries begin, international interest in the race to the White House is set to intensify.

It's testimony to the fact that the United States remains the true global power that people and the media in most countries will follow the race closer than they follow even some local stories. This is particularly so in the war-ravaged Middle East.

While the social and economic agendas of candidates inevitably top the focus of the American public and media, the main interest in the Middle East is the foreign policy of the pretenders to the position of most powerful person in the world.

Although Lebanon is a tiny country, it sits at the heart of the fault line in the Middle East. With that in mind, Lebanese generally, like many Arabs, will be looking at the policies of the candidates as they relate to three key issues: Daesh (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS), the regional proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

ISIS has emerged as an extremely serious international terror threat, but it is an existential one to people in the Middle East, the Muslim majority that opposes it, Christians and other minorities. The reality is that Lebanon will never feel safe with ISIS terrorists at its doorstep.

But Washington is also being looked upon to help ease tensions between regional powerhouses Iran and Saudi Arabia. And it is in a unique position after the nuclear deal to check Tehran's interference in the affairs of its Arab neighbors and to use its historic ties with Riyadh to contain the fires raging in the region.

As for issues relating to the Palestinians, the Lebanese are looking for a U.S. president who might nudge Israel into a peace deal that sees the Palestinians establish a viable state.

Ultimately, Lebanese will be interested spectators in the U.S. presidential race, and they will likely feel an affinity with the candidate that offers both leadership and a clear policy for tackling these vital regional issues.

Nadim Ladki is editor in chief of Lebanon's Daily Star newspaper.

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21 Feb. 2016 

Cars Articles | HubPages Autos

Even if you have a lot of other priorities for instance, sports, extracurricular activities, etc., still you need to complete a senior project to graduate successfully

Few subjects can bring a smile to the faces of millions of people faster than cars. Whether you like sports cars, or SUVs, or monster trucks, or classic roadsters, or any number of other cars, the list can go on and on. Just take a trip to one of the auto shows that can be found in major cities around the world and you will see the passion that car fanatics have. Take a trip to the local bookstore or library and count the number of magazines dedicated to the subject of cars. You might be surprised. There are a lot. Look at the popularity of the various forms of auto racing around the world. Its one of the most popular and most lucrative sports in the world. Cars are faster, safer and come with more gadgets than ever. What fun.

101 Badass Truck Namesby Tatiana6 months ago

Looking for a badass truck name for your new beast of a vehicle? Once you pick a name, you and your new ride can drive off into the sunset, or into a mob of ravenous zombies, together!

EDITOR'S CHOICEThe Pros and Cons of Owning a MINIby David Livermore6 weeks ago

Deciding to buy a car is a big decision. Deciding to go with a MINI is an even bigger decision. I've owned a MINI for years now, and will share with you the pros and cons of owning a MINI.

How to Stance Your Carby jaydawg8088 months ago

How to stance your car utilizing stretched tires, low offset and wide wheels, and coilover or air suspension.

How Do Cars Affect our Lives?by Kathryn Vercillo5 years ago

As many of the people who regularly read my articles already know, I am a resident of San Francisco. This isnt a very car-friendly city and I havent bothered to have a car since I moved here. Being able to...

EDITOR'S CHOICEDemolition Derby Cars: Building Tips to Avoid Destructionby timmathisen7 months ago

Demolition derby cars are built in the backyard out of a junk vehicle. They are then crashed, smashed, and rammed into each other with one goal in mind: To be the last vehicle standing.

People from all over the world contribute to HubPages by sharing words and pictures. Get to know us a bit by reading what everyday people have to say about Autos, and Classic Cars. The breadth of content on HubPages is wide, but each article is specific in its own special way!

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21 Feb. 2016 

Whats a good cheap sports car?

Even if you have a lot of other priorities for instance, sports, extracurricular activities, etc., still you need to complete a senior project to graduate successfully

with that kinda income I don't think a sports car, even a cheap one, is the wisest decision. You would have to sacrifice something like maybe going for an older sports car or not getting a sports car.

But to answer your question, mazda miata is pretty much the cheapest true sports car you could get. Its also pretty efficient.

Other cars that are close to sports cars, but not true sports cars would include toyota celica, honda civic coupe, chevy colbalt coupe, chevy cavalier coupe, mitsubishi eclipse, Honda prelude

I'm sure there r lots more.

If you want something fast, don't go for a miata, go for a front wheel drive sports car that someone already moded. This will be cheaper than getting a rwd car with the same power.

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21 Feb. 2016 

No One Knows What "Sports Car" Actually Means Anymore

Even if you have a lot of other priorities for instance, sports, extracurricular activities, etc., still you need to complete a senior project to graduate successfully

Late last year, I wrote a story on the new Mustang GT350R and how it compared to the outgoing Boss 302. It wasn't exactly a controversial piece, given that I have a healthy dose of affection for both cars and don't mind showing it, but the readers had a few complaints nonetheless. They complained that we didn't post laptimes, to which my response was that we just didn't have enough time to get them both a clear track and proper conditions. They complained that we should have compared a Boss 302 "Laguna Seca" to the 350R, to which my response was that we couldn't get our hands on a Laguna Seca on short notice. It's tough enough coming up with all of theright new cars for a comparison test at the same time. Adding used cars to the mix makes it nearly impossible.

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The most frequent criticism, however was my use of the term "sedan" to refer to the Mustangs. What I heard is thatthe Mustang is a "sports car," not a "sedan."Well, ladies and gentlemen, you are dead wrongand that misunderstanding could beone of the reasons that true sports cars are so hard to find in showrooms in the year 2016.

Before we consider what a sports car truly is, perhaps we should consider why the definition is important. After all, we live in an era where people take it for granted that they have the inalienable right to be protected from any conversation or communication that might offend or upset them. If you can insist that I use gender neutral pronounsto refer to you, how much more reasonable must it be that you can tell me to call your Mustang or Macana "sports car?"

What I will suggest in response is that words need to have a certain basic level of meaning or society will stop functioning. Take, for example, the insistence on the part of Mercedes-Benz and BMW and a few other companies that we call their fastback sedans "four-door coupes."Imagine for a moment that you are walking your 10-year-old daughter down the street when two thugged-out investment bankers, possibly Martin Shrkeli and a friend, pull up in an Audi S7, punch you in the face, and throw your child in the back seat of the S7 before speeding away.

Tell me, with a straight face, that you will describe that car to the police as "an Audi coupe."

Gotcha, right?

There's another, even more important, reason to describe cars using proper and appropriate names, but we'll come back to that in a moment. Let's return to the question: "What is a sports car?" In the postwar era, a "sports car" was any car that seated two, had a soft top, and could be used for competition. Thus, the Sports Car Club of America. An MG-TC was a sports car, as was an XK-120 or a Jowett Jupiter.

That same car with a permanent hardtop was considered a "Grand Tourer", meaning it would be appropriate for a young man to drive around Europe in varying weather conditions. Thus, the MGB-GT is an MGB sports car upgraded to Grand Tourer configuration. The definition of "GT car" has always been more flexible than the definition of "Sports Car" because it is based around prospective usage. In the modern era, virtually anything from a Scion FR-S to a Mustang to an Aston Vanquish would serve the would-be Grand Tourer well and so we can call them all "GT cars."

When did the definition of "sports car" change? Well, here's the thing: it never did.

When did the definition of "sports car" change? Well, here's the thing: It never did. What happened was that the cars themselves changed. Fear about prospective DOT rollover regulations in the 70scaused an entire generation of cars, from the Jaguar XJ-S to the C3 Corvette, to be conceived and sold primarily as hard-top Grand Tourers. In many cases, this led to the "sports car" name following the marque or badge, even if it no longer applied. An XK120 was a sports car; an E-Type Mk1 was a sports car; therefore, the Jaguar XJ-S must be a sports car despite being the size of the HMS Hood and sporting a 12-cylinder engine. If the original 1953 Corvette was a sports car, and it most assuredly was, then certainly a 2016 Corvette Z06 hardtop is a sports car, right?

In some cases, the "sports car" name was used for something that was meant to be an antidote or alternative to traditional sports carssee "911, Porsche" and "240Z, Datsun."This depresses me; a Porsche 911 is certainly not a sports car. I know. I own one. A Boxster, which I also own, is definitely a sports car. That's why the Boxster, er, 718, and the 911 can co-exist. That, and the fact that the 911 is basically the same car as the Boxster for much more money, and no manufacturer with its head on straight would permit such a thing to disappear.

With all that said, however, there are cars out there that should not be referred to as "sports cars" by anybody who considers himself or herself to be a member of the sainted automotive cognoscenti. The list of such cars includes:

SUVs, CUVs, or anything else that doesn't require the use of a floor jack to change the oil and is not a Porsche 959 Dakar. Which is also not a sports car. So leave that in.Fast sedans, like the BMW M5, or their two-door variants, like the BMW M6, or the four-door variants of the two-door variants, like the M6 Gran Coupe, or the crossover variants of the four-door variants of the two-door variants of the four-door, like the X6M.Hot hatches, like the GTI.Rally-reps, like the Mitsubishi Evo or Subaru WRX.Big-money cruiser droptops, like the Bentley Azure, recent-generation Mercedes SL, or Lexus SC430.The Honda CRX or anything else that was meant to be a copy of the Honda CRX.The Mustang, Camaro, Firebird, Challenger, Cougar, Javelin, Barracuda, Genesis Coupe, Accord Coupe, Mazda RX-8, or Mercedes-Benz CLK63 Black Series.That last one seems to be where most of the confusion occurs. The Mustang is a sedan. Don't like it? Take it up with the Sports Car Club of America, which classifies the Mustang in the "American Sedan" class. The Mustang was always a sedan. It has always been a sedan. It always will be a sedan, unless it changes significantly. If the word "sedan" offends you, then choose the term "ponycar,"which is also fine andrespects the Mustang's unique role in history as a sporting sedan variant of a non-sporting sedan, in this case the Ford Falcon.

Don't call a Mustang a sports car. It's not a sports car. The word "sports car" doesn't mean "car that I like and think is really cool." Were that the case, then I would call the Rolls-Royce Wraith a "sports car,"because I really like the Rolls-Royce Wraith and I think it's just the bee's knees, old boy. Come to think of it, I also like the Phantom Drophead, which is also not a sports car by any sane estimation.

Dean Smith, Matt Tierney & Andrew Trahan

What's the harm in calling a Mustang a sports car? Why, Sir, the evidence is all around you. True sports cars are almost gone from showrooms nowadays, simply because we've used the phrase and its attendant social baggage so carelessly. If everything is a sports car, then nothing is a sports car. If people who are not self-taught car experts decide in middle age or retirement that they've finally earned the right to have a "sports car,"and that search leads them to an Audi SQ5 or Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro because nobody is willing to draw that line in the sand between things that are sports cars and things that are not, then why would any automaker bother to build a sports car?

Therefore, I beg of you, dear reader: start using the term "sports car" to apply to things that are truly sports cars, or close to them. The Miata. The Porsche 718 Boxster (not the 718 Cayman). Stuff like that. In the end, the life you save could be your own, because who wants to live in a world where the smallest and most nimble "sports car" for sale is a Mustang, no matter how excellent said Mustang might be?

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21 Feb. 2016 

The USA TODAY NETWORK Launches Event Series to Inform and Activate Millennials During 2016 Election Season

MCLEAN, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The USA TODAY NETWORK, part of Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), today announced One Nation, a content and event series in the run up to the 2016 election focusing on social topics most important to the millennial generation. In partnership with Rock the Vote, the USA TODAY NETWORK will host live One Nation events across the country to inform young voters and encourage voter registration for 2016. In addition to the live events, rich, interactive content will be developed and syndicated through print, digital and social channels across the USA TODAY NETWORK, including USA TODAY and 92 local sites reaching more than 100MM people monthly.

One Nation will bring together compelling content with some of the biggest names, including relevant, socially-aware celebrities and influencers to offer insight on each topic. Beginning this month, One Nation will focus on a specific topic each month that is relevant to millennials, now the largest generation of voters alive today. From gun rights, race relations, LGBT rights and immigration to the environment, education and the economy, One Nation will tackle topics through in-depth panel discussions and engaging content that will be distributed across the USA TODAY NETWORK to showcase a 360-degree perspective of Americans key issues leading up to the Presidential race.

With millennials surpassing the Baby Boomer generation for the first time this year, nearly 40 million millennials are expected to vote in the 2016 election. We are excited to launch One Nation with our partner Rock the Vote to help this audience make an informed decision on next president of the United States, said Bob Dickey, president and CEO, Gannett. We know that this generation has the potential to be the largest block of voters during this election cycle and want to educate them about the topics that resonate with them. The power of information coupled with the scale of the USA TODAY NETWORK, makes One Nation a very compelling series.

One Nation will work with Rock the Vote to produce four polls in 2016, which will take the pulse of millennial voters on these key issues that matter most headed into the 2016 election. Each quarter, 1,000 millennials will be surveyed about the issues that are most important as well as other important topics such as likelihood to vote in 2016 and attitude about politics in general. Survey findings will be published in USA TODAY as well as spotlighted at the One Nation events. The first exclusive USA TODAY/Rock the Vote poll, published today, finds a generation that has definite priorities for the next president, and back some specific remedies to the issues that matter most to them.

Rock the Vote will be present at every One Nation event, helping to register voters and raising awareness about the importance of each and every vote and how the impact of voting in local races is as important in ones life as voting for who should be elected president.

Rock the Vote is excited to work with The USA TODAY NETWORK to help bring the issues that matter most to millennials to the forefront of each of the candidates campaign, said Ashley Spillane, president of Rock the Vote. As the largest generation in our nations history, we have the power to be the most influential force in electing our next president and our voices deserve to be an integral part of the conversation this election.

The first One Nation event will take place January 14, in Des Moines, Iowa to discuss energy and answer the questions: Whats the next-next thing in energy that will power our homes, businesses and cars 10 or 20 years from now? How do we get there? Whats holding us back? The event will be hosted at Woolys and feature Heather Zichal, an Iowa native, fellow with the Atlantic Council and former adviser to President Barack Obama, as well as Robert C. Brown, director of the Bioeconomy Institute and director of the Center for Sustainable Environmental Technologies, both at Iowa State University. Additional panelists will be named soon.

Other One Nation event locations and topics include:

Reno, NV (Healthcare, February 11) Phoenix, AZ (Immigration, March 21) Palm Springs, CA (Climate Change, April 20) Asbury Park, NJ (Education, May) Detroit, MI (Jobs/Economy, June) Cape Canaveral, FL (American Innovation, July) Indianapolis, IN (Guns in America, August) Cincinnati, OH (Civil/LGBT Rights, September) Washington, DC (Pre-election event, October)

For more information on One Nation, visit Additional information can be found on Facebook (), Twitter (), Instagram (), and Snapchat (OneNation2016).


The USA TODAY NETWORK, part of Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), is the largest local to national media network in the country. Powered by integrated and award-winning news organizations with deep roots in more than 100 local communities, plus USA TODAY, the multiplatform news network informs and engages more than 100 million people every month through its diverse portfolio of digital, mobile, print and experiential products.


Rock the Vote is the largest non-partisan, non-profit organization in the country driving the youth vote to the polls. Since 1990, Rock the Vote has fused pop culture, music, art and technology to fulfill its mission of building long-term youth political power. During the past six Presidential elections, Rock the Vote ran the largest voter registration drives for young people and has partnered with morethan 25,000 partners through its online, multi-lingual voter registration tool.Rock the Vote is dedicated to mobilizing the vote, protecting voting rights and advocating for an electoral process and voting system that works for the Millennial generation, America's largest and most diverse population in its history.To get Rock the Vote updates on upcoming events, election reminders and candidate, visit Engage on social media, by following Rock the Vote onFacebookand onTwitter.

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