Archive for the 'Politics' Category

British Interest in American Election

I was walking along a small suburban London street yesterday when I heard a woman tell her male friend “I just wasted most of the day watching election coverage”.

I thought hard but couldn’t recall any British election going on right now. Could she possibly mean our election?

Sure enough, she went on to talk about watching all the speeches from the “Republican Conference”, as well as Michelle Obama’s speech from last week’s convention, all on the BBC website.

I didn’t identify myself as an American (or elsewise for that matter) so I could eavesdrop research without affecting the results.

She went on to say that she found Sarah Palin to be “absolutely abhorrent” and that she couldn’t “wrap my mind around how anyone could possibly vote for these people.” I couldn’t agree more.

After I found my way back to my hostel, I noticed that BBC television was breaking into programming (mostly American sitcoms) to play any RNC speeches they considered interesting.

And the headline on one of London’s free daily newspapers today was

This level of interest surprised me, I guess because British politics receives barely a mention on American newscasts and in the public sphere (diehard C-SPAN watchers notwithstanding). But then the Brits don’t go around bullying others and starting wars. Anymore.

Bush again :-(

Well, I did what I could to prevent Bush from getting re-elected, but it came to pass anyway. On election day, I held a MoveOnPAC phone bank party at my place where we had ten people calling Democratic voters to in swing states to urge them to go to the polls.

The meanest people were in Florida, where many of the Democrats we called told us they’d voted for Bush for “moral” reasons. The nicest people were in Wisconsin, where they seemed genuinely happy we’d called them, even if they’d already voted.

Here’s my mother’s take on the 2004 election.

What scares me the most is that it seems we are becoming more and more a Christian nation. Many people voted for Bush because they saw him as the better Christian. Never mind that Jesus never preached war or the killing of innocent people, and doubtless wouldn’t approve of much of what Bush stands for.

History is full of examples of what happens when religion divides a country or territory. We only have to look at Northern Ireland, the former Yugoslavia, or current day Iraq.

One organization I support in this realm is Americans United for Separation of Church and State.