I understand that America is the big Kahuna, and what happens there is of interest/important/affects a lot of people outside the U.S. I really do.
I said I wouldn’t do it and I broke my promise to myself. So if I am now annoyed it’s my fault and I get that. But sometimes when you hear people saying things that sound so far off center you just want to Scream!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have HAD it with people who don’t live in America, are not American and in some cases have never even been to the U.S. ordaining themselves the expert analysts on the political future of any and all presidential candidates, what issues are important to Americans, the future of the Democratic party, the American political system in general.
I have heard some really ludicrous stuff, some stuff that I think is just plain baseless, and some stuff that is just plain TRASH!
My political leanings aside, I think if you are going to talk about a country or community, you’ve got to know what the freak you are talking about. An NO, watching CNN, Fox News or CNBC, read some blogs or going to some American Newspaper websites, Does not make you the expert on U.S. CULTURE or politics.
If there is one thing that I have realized through these situations it’s the extent to which so many people in the freaking world thinks they can talk about American society and culture even when they haven’t been there. What these folk usually do, IMHO is try to impose political models and precedents from other places onto the U.S. This is something that quite frankly and obviously boils my oil.
There is a certain intimate knowledge that you gain from belonging to a particular culture that you cannot gain otherwise, at least not without tackling that culture through academic pursuits (which will probably involve spending extended periods of time there, ideally). I can not claim to really understand what the essence of the British political system is. I am not British and I ACCEPT that fact.
I wish more non-Americans would get their facts straight: I am typing to fast to link this but I would bet my lunch money that you could google this information
1. Abortion and Gay rights were important issues in the U.S. and it definitely influenced people’s political leanings. This is strange to other people and they completely over look this.
2. The economy is not necessarily the Number one issue influencing political decisions, if it was then John Mccain would not be polling even with Clinton and Obama.
3. Obama’s loss in Pennsylvania does not mean that ALL or even the majority of WHITE (democratic) voters would not vote for him solely based on race. It doesn’t mean that ALL white people in America are racist. (this one really galls me, especially when they come from people in countries where terrorist attacks were launched by some of their own citizens— fix your immigration/multicultural politics situation before you start throwing stones at America’s glasshouse— Bump what you heard they have teenage pregnancy, gang violence and poverty here in Europe too, welfare states or not!).
4. Hillary Clinton is not an attractive candidate to Republican voters. If she galvanizes them in any way, its that it unites them in their hatred of her.
5. Barack Obama is the candidate who had attracted independent voters and swing Republicans. It’s an acknowledged part of his support base.
6. All signs indicate that as of right now, It is going to be a close election. Both parties are pretty much polling even. Americans are not going to be enraged and give either side a landslide/surprise victory like some parties in Europe have had. The U.S. is not Europe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Different people, different priorities, different social agendas and religious affiliations.
I am so tired of these ridiculous models based on I don’t know what. Like I said above, people here don’t always say things that completely wrong but I am tired of comments and “analysis” that does not reflect American realities. Why are you trying to dictate Americans what their priorities should be?
The most ridiculous part of it all is when people look at you like “What do you know?”
Hmmm, you know what, you’re right, I’m just the person that actually lives in America, is familiar with American geography and demography (yes, black people are only about 12% so Some White folk in majority White states had to have voted for him, or else he wouldn’t be a viable candidate). I am the one who consults mainstream and not mainstream news sources. I am the one who talks to and has interacted with “Real, Live” Americans” on a daily basis… but I digress.
My friends and I from the states don’t agree on every political or social issue, but at least when we discuss/argue they come correct. America is not what you seen in the movies, television, Fox news or CNN anymore than the BBC reflects the sentiments of all Britons or Channel 5 all Spaniards.
I have been thinking/simmering about this for a little bit now and I think its also tied to very different understanding of what democratic representation stands for/is/ should be.
I got into an argument/debate with my aunt yesterday and she has said on many occasions things to the effect of when you vote for a candidate you give them free reign to do what they want on your behalf. I guess I am not explaining it well, but the sense I get from here is that once a person is elected the only way you voice your displeasure/influence their decisions, is when you vote for or against them in an election. Outside of that, their decisions are sovereign. This understanding denotes a political system based on trust in the government.
Perhaps I am wrong, but I have understood the U.S. political system to be based on an intrinsic distrust of the government. We don’t just elect officials, we tell them how we feel about them throughout their term in office. They do not have free reign to do whatever the F*&^89 they want, accountability is not just imposed during an election year (yeah I know there are some exceptions but I do think that ideally, this is the way it goes).
This distinction (along with a lack of understanding of the electoral college system) is why I hear people make comments like the Superdelegates can do whatever they flip they want. They have the power so what is the fuss over how they choose to vote. If Americans choose to have discourses over this issue who are YOU, oh person who has no immediate vested interest in their country to criticize them?
It always happens, I end up defending America in a way I wouldn’t do at home. (well I guess in a way I woulnd’t have to do at home).
Alright, I feel a little better now that have channeled some of my anger into this. I am going to do a better job of just ignoring people’s “projections” and focusing on getting out of this country. Everybody has to have something to say and everything and that is ok.
ARgh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Here ends my Rant!
p.s. I am not saying that people in other countries should not discuss U.S. events/politics. I’m just tired of the ones who act like CNN invited them to weigh in the latest election results.