I know, I know: this blog is supposed to be about life in Merida, but I don't have enough political savvy or material to dedicate an entire blog to politics, so you will have to bear with me as I unburden myself - politically - here. And before you get your knickers in a twist, you should remember that this is my personal opinion and you have every right to go read something else, like the Fox News website if you are so inclined.
My Better Half and I watched the elections in the U.S. of A. last night and as the western states were announced as 'blue' we were overwhelmed with emotion. Seeing the Obama family on stage, the emotional crowds in Chicago and Times Square and even in Kenya brought a tear to this cynic's eyes.
People I talked to here in Merida prior to the election said that Obama would never win, because the Americans would never elect a 'black' man as their president, which highlights not only how little they think of the U.S. but also how superficial their analysis was as well.
Personally, I have never considered Obama as the 'black' candidate, although to look at him, you could be convinced that it might be true; there is a hint of something African about him. To me, Obama was more about the man; an extremely smart, young, family man with an intelligent wife who projected to me a more international outlook on the world and seemed to have the desire and the ability to negotiate not only with political opponents but also with world leaders with whom he may or may not agree. A radical departure from the 'shoot first', 'first strike', 'fuck the rest of the planet' mentality of the last eight years.
McCain, upon conceding the election, made probably the best speech I have heard him make in this campaign. Passionate, articulate and not at all derogatory, the latter which I almost suspected after the B.S. that was thrown around in obvious desperation during the final months in the race for the presidency. I almost felt sorry for him, hopelessly trying to contend not only with the Bush doctrine legacy which effectively condemned anyone running under the Republican banner and campaigning with the albatross from Alaska that probably cost him a lot of electoral votes.
A few of my friends in the U.S. are alarmed by the election of Obama to be their president. They seem to think that some calamitous fate awaits them, as if it was the 1970's, the country was Chile, they were Allende supporters and Pinochet had just been elected. For the life of me I can't understand their fears. Is it their great egoistic fear that taxes will increase?
What could Obama possibly do that has these people so afraid? What could possibly be worse than assuring that your children will be in debt for decades to come? Worse than having your country despised and ridiculed around the world? Worse than sending your (poor neighbors) kids off to die in Iraq and Afghanistan all the while complacently destroying the planet? Or is it something deeper, dare I mention, racist?
Many Americans live in a make-believe world, where it is their god-given right to have everything they want whenever they want it, cost be damned. Massive environmental damage in "third world" countries? Who cares if it means cheap gas. Dictators torturing their citizens for demanding democracy? Hey as long as we get cheap toys at Walmart, who cares.
Time to wake up U.S.A. - and rejoin the global community! This is an important first step.