President Obama’s pitch for democracy in Cuba would be more convincing if our politics weren’t such a complete mess right now.

“I’m here to bury the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas,” he told the audience at the Gran Teatro in Havana. But Obama was really there for the “young people.” 

He played up the cultural and familial ties between the United States and Cuba, pointing to Miami as a glitzy monument to what the free market has in store. He regularly invoked the words of legendary Cuban poet and freedom fighter Jose Martí in support of American values. 

He stumbled a bit, however, when discussing the virtues of American democracy. His own inspiring story will probably go over about as well as it did in the United States, but his attempt at an optimistic take on this year’s disastrous presidential campaign isn’t likely to sway anyone. 

Two Cuban Americans in the Republican Party running against the legacy of a black man who is president while arguing that they’re the best person to beat the Democratic nomineee, who will either be a woman or a democratic socialist. Who would have believed that back in 1959? That’s a measure of our progress as a democracy. 

And if that doesn’t convince you, there’s always Pitbull. 

Billboard