Perspective From the Other Side
I’ve been meaning to write about this for a long time… almost three weeks have passed and it’s still the main subject of conversation around here. I am constantly asked about my thoughts on the new president-elect and, consequently, a lengthy conversation always follows in which the opinions of other nationalities are expressed. It’s interesting to hear all the thoughts from a different perspective, outside looking in.
November 4 was not only an historic day for the US of A, but also for the world. I don’t think there are any doubts as to who the rest of the world supported, and being in the socialist nation of Spain, it was definitely made clear the preference of the people. I will say that it was interesting to see how important the elections were on a world scale. The whole night of the elections was broadcast in Spain non-stop, covering places like Chicago, Washington, DC, and Phoenix. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but here, some Spaniards stayed up all night until 6 or 7am waiting for the results. I went to bed at 1:00am…. so much for patriotism!
Since then, everyone has had their “nugget” to share, be it either excitement for the change not only in the US but also in regards to our international relations, or criticism, as always, on the Bush administration and the way our country functions. At times it’s difficult because many of these criticisms are attacks from people who know nothing about the goings-on of my country, and may I dare say, of their own. I end up defending everything I know about my government and confronting harsh judgment, and all the while trying to also be understanding of a different culture and how things may seem to an outsider. It inevitably becomes tiresome, but such is the environment in a politically charged country and continent. Discussing politics is the main dinner conversation at night in many homes. Sometimes I think it is good for people to be exposed to this at such a young age. We are held in a safety blanket in the US and it is often considered taboo to talk about politics. Do any of us even know when the elections of other countries are happening? To the rest of the world, this might have been one of the biggest events of the year. Just for starters, it received more coverage than Spain’s own elections in March 2008.
I will say that I am excited about what’s going to happen in the next 4 years. Everyone addressed the fact that there needed to be change in many aspects of our government. I’m eager to see how Obama comes through and uses his intelligence, charisma, and power to improve our country and the processes and systems within our government. Although my hope for ultimate global change is not in the government and I don’t think they can give a solution for everything, I do think that this could be a stepping-stone (hopefully) to something great and good starting in that little corner of the world.