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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Indulgent Fear-and-Anger-Based Political Rant

This is perhaps the most personally stressful election I've lived through. When I think about waking up on Nov. 5th and going to check the election results my stomach somersaults. Not, in a good present-awaiting christmas-eve sort of way, but in the sort of way when you stub your toe really hard in the dark and you need to feel it to check to see if its bleeding or not. There is no good outcome, just a chance of a really really bad one.

I would be elated if Obama won. But I still wouldn't feel good about where we are as a country. Bush has so thoroughly destroyed our economy, environment, and world reputation that Obama would just be scrambling to try and fix everything.

And if McCain wins, I fear that we will just continue down the same sinking-ship path we are on. I don't think that McCain is exactly another Bush - I do believe that he feels he is a "maverick" and will make independent decisions, but he seems to be just as off-the-mark on everything as Bush is. Also, he has fallen apart in the debates, letting his hot-headedness and pissed-off condescension get in the way of his thinking processes. Not at all good qualities for a president who will need to delicately maneuver within the international community.

Increasing the scary-factor is the possibility of Palin being President. I've heard the argument that you shouldn't let consideration of the Pres dying and the Vice Pres taking over be a major influence in your voting decision. Why the heck not?! Both of these candidates have a higher likelihood of dying in office than most (via old age or assassination). And the thought of Palin being president sends me into a tissy of fury and panic.

I hate the selection of Palin as the Vice Pres so much, it's intensely insulting to me as a women that the republicans thought that the selection of any woman would appease me and get my vote. There are so many other actually qualified republican females they could have chosen! Instead they chose the attractive bimbo; the stereo-type of what the feminist movement has been fighting since its inception. The country would crash-and-burn under her leadership (or rather the leadership of the people who would be her puppeteers).

Biden is the the steady slowly-plodding tortoise of the relatively harmless democratic status-quo. I think he could hold-the-fort and continue following whatever direction Obama sets as president. Not a raving review, but not the tragedy of a Palin Presidency at least.

I'll be carrying around this ball of uneasiness in my gut until the morning of Nov. 5th (hopefully it won't be dragged-out) when I can either give a big sigh of relief or I don't know what. If McCain/Palin win I may cry, through my coffee at the TV, go numb, check the house prices in Canada... I can't even think about it.


Blogger Psychodiva said...

would you believe that even tho I am not a US citizen and I live accross the other side of the world- that small ball of dread is also haunting me- and a lot of people over here- If the US crashes and burns it will take a whole lot of other countries with it - unfortunately.

24 October, 2008  
Blogger Zeolite said...

In June of 2004 my husband and I were traveling in Japan staying in hostels. We met tons of people from all over the world there and almost all of them talked to us about US politics. About how crazy it was that Gore didn't win, about how happy they were that Bush's 1st term was almost up and that Americans wouldn't be stupid enough to vote him in again (we cautioned them not to be so sure). That was the first time I realized how the US fits into the world community.

Since then we have traveled to around Europe and South America and have had similar experiences. We've even encountered people who when they found out we were Americans asked bluntly if we voted for Bush or not. I have a feeling they would have turned on their heel and walked away if we said we had (we didn't vote for him of course).

No one we met ever said they thought Bush was doing a good job or that he was a good president.

Perhaps it is the benefit of an outsiders perspective or the US' puritan history but the rest of the world seems to be much more insightful about American politics than most US citizens.

I think it also has to do with an overwhelming sense of isolation we have here in the states. Other countries, and especially Europe, have a reputation of being only a concern for the wealthy and elite. Poor and middle class families for the most part will never get the opportunity to travel outside of North America (unless they are in the military). So the rest of the world isn't really part of the public consciousness.

24 October, 2008  
Blogger Tommy said...

I think another part of it is that we are such a large country that is geographically isolated, hence, most native born Americans have no inclination to learn other languages or to keep informed of global events.

In Europe, on the other hand, you have people of different languages and nationalities living practically cheek by jowel, so being fluent in more than one language is practically a necessity.

24 October, 2008  
Blogger Psychodiva said...

Tommy- that is true- I grew up all over the place in Europe and can speak a little of a few languages - enough to get by- because I have had to- I think the USA is isolated in that respect and also because of its diversity - however I also think that the US education system has an influence as when I met up with a US friend of mine she and her family actually knew very little about the rest of the world and actually thought that the US had invented the motor car :) wehich made me laugh- but on a serious note- I don't think- and correct me if I am wrong- that the US educates its children about the rest of the world beyond the US involvement in wars in various places? World history has always bene a subject that my US friends know very little about- yet most children in Europe can talk with intelligence and knowledge about US history.

It might be said that people in Europe should know little about Asia / Japan/ China etc because we are isolated from that area - it is a similar distance from here to there- yet we seem to know an awful lot about these places because we seek that knowledge.

Is it something in the US attitude towards Europe or is this just my impression do you think?

25 October, 2008  
Blogger Zeolite said...

Pyschodiva, I completely agree with you about the major failing of US education to teach world history - or world anything.

The only thing I learned about the rest of the world in school was country capitals. I had to take a US history class in high school, but never a world history class.

To this day I am woefully unaware of basic world history facts. Like your friends, I kinda assumed the car was invented in the US. Apparently we are very narcissistic here!

Just recently have I begun to understand the importance of history as context. Through traveling, studying geology, and studying art history.

History taught in US school is almost exclusively drilling of names and dates. I wonder if teaching true history (with is scandal, sex, blood, and betrayal) is too scary for us prudish Americans!

Tommy - I agree with you also. When I was in Scotland I told someone who didn't know where Minneapolis was that I lived near the Canadian Border. After asking me how near, I said it was about probably about 300 miles, he laughed and laughed. Apparently 300 miles isn't considered "close" in Scotland. :)

27 October, 2008  
Blogger Tommy said...

Well Zeo, no need to feel any more anguish about the election results!

05 November, 2008  
Blogger Zeolite said...

Yippppie! I'm so relieved and happy.

05 November, 2008  

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