I’d love to hear your reaction to our most recent elections (requested by yourownworld)
I got this request after I posted a few small remarks a day after the victory of the current president became known. I decided immediately to wait a few days before actually writing it. Reflection comes with time, ones perception changes with it. Days became weeks, but here it finally is. My take on your elections.
Thing is, I wasn’t as bothered as I thought I would be. I watched one debate. Not in the middle of the night, like some people over here did, why else have I got cable internet? I couldn’t watch it all the way. I found myself multi-tasking halfway through the debate. The most important elections of the year, affecting the world order, and me, someone who has to teach 16 year olds about politics, couldn’t be bothered to stay with it for a full hour.
My problem is that I think US politics have got nothing to do with politics anymore. I am not a historian, can’t say what went wrong, if it was Reagan or even JFK, but issues aren’t important anymore. Marketing is. And even though I liked marketing as a subject in school myself, my mind has grown since and I realise that marketing is just trying to sell clean air (read “Gasping” by Ben Elton, if you even get your hands on it).
I said it before and will remain with my statement: A monkey with the slogan “Anybody but Bush”, should have won that election. Which says a lot about the people around him, but also, I’m afraid about his opponent. Bush might not be clever, he might not be worldly, but he sure is surrounded by people who know how to win an election. But in my opinion one should be chosen because of one’s idea’s, because of one’s plans for the future or even because one can create an air of confidence. None of this is happening in the US these days. The biggest budget, the cleverest marketers, the best strategy works. The US is not a democracy in my opinion. As long as lobbyists, big multinationals and press can influence the way someone is portrayed, democracy has taken a second row seat.
For the US to be a democracy drastic changes are necessary. The weird system where the majority vote is not automatically enough leaves a lot to be desired. The choice between two opponents is not my cup of tea either. It is not left or right, Republican or Democrat, black or white. Life often is yes but, or no if, life is some grey form, almost never black or white. I like a multi party system, where compromise is necessary. Where one needs to talk to others to make sure that your vote gets enough support. I believe in dialogue, not in violence, in co-operation, not in confrontation. Call me a hippie, but the only way forward is peace, not war.
The current US government despises all I stand for. I am pro-choice; I feel that if two people want to get married, they should be able to, even if they happen to have the same gender. I feel that the bible is a book like so many others, like the Koran, like Dante’s Inferno. It is not the answer to everything, certainly not for all those non Christian policies of late.
But all in all, it hasn’t hit me as much as I feared. Before the elections I feared the worst, now, a month later, my life still hasn’t changed. I still go to work, I still love those around me and the world is still going around. I am still glad I do not live in the self proclaimed world leading country, where economics and religion seem to be more important than taking care of each other and tolerance.
Should you live in the US and feel offended by these words, just remember you could easily write a similar verdict over my country. We have a prime-minister who blindly follows Rumsfeld and his friends, we had a political murder a couple of years ago, we had a murder on a leading columnist and filmmaker last month and in the aftermath at least a dozen attacks on mosques, churches and Islamic schools. Politicians are being threatened; a racist politician is getting 20% in the polls, without ever telling his views on anything but his racial hatred.
Who am I to judge?
(You asked for it, a series I started to give anyone the opportunity to tell me what to write. You want to tell me as well: leave a comment or mail me (E-mail in user info). This was part 8, no requests waiting at the moment.)