With all the media saturation about the topic here in Australia and over in Singapore, I can't begin to imagine what it must be like living in the United States right now! It's Monday morning here and everybody, and I mean everybody is talking about the presidential elections for president. As opposed to the presidential elections for grilled cheese sandwiches.
ASIDE: It's amazing that in the last year in the Anglosphere there have been crucially important elections in both Canada (aka Prime Minister Steven Harper) and Australia (aka Prime Minister Kevin Rudd), but neither have captured peoples interest as much. I guess there just wasn't as much at steak, grilled cheese sandwiches and apple fritters. Mmm... abstract pointlessness.
I'm sitting at the Boatdeck Cafe on this gorgeous, slightly overcast but cool Monday morning having a coffee and working on a project on my laptop (I know that will surprise you), and everyone around me is talking about the election. At the table across from mine there are several couples in their late 50s talking about how the election is about race and that some people are going to only vote for Obama because of his skin colour and not for his policies. Which is fine by them because they say either way they're making the right choice, even if their reason is iffy. Next we're going to start picking VPs based on their ability to read sports news and enter into beauty pageants! Can you imagine!?
At another table there are a couple of guys not much older than me with heavy Greek accents (I think) are loudly saying that Obama "kicks arse" and if the Republicans steal the election for a third time, they'll be flying to the States to help in the protests! Amen brothers!
At yet another table, underneath the plasma screen TV that's mounted on the wall with breakfast TV playing with an analyst in Canberra discussing Obama, there are a group of people in business suits and ties saying that McCain demonstrated he was out of touch the instant he considered Palin to be a worthy VP. They've also said they're dismayed at Joe Biden's history of supporting some archaic copyright legislation (I didn't know that) but that he's still a decent bloke and someone the White House desperately needs.
My dad provides some further insight. He's on a business trip to Japan and China, and he says even there people are talking about Obama as if he's already president. People in both countries are desperately worried that America's financial crisis will continue to pull down the rest of the world, and in China they're surprised that they've been affected to the extent that they have... the idea that they were somehow impervious and insulated from troubles seems to have left.
I've been typing this post in bursts over the course of an hour, and since starting some of the aforementioned people have left and have been replaced with mums returning from dropping their kids off at the school. They're talking about the current petrol price and about... Barack Obama. One of the mums said that she thought Obama was cute! Another said that she'll be so dissapointed if he doesn't get in, and that she's calling her friend in Colorado tonight to make sure they're voting "properly"!
I don't believe it, a couple of guys have literally sat down next to me and are talking about Obama now too. Basically the same talking points as the people I already mentioned, except one of them said that he is also one of the owners of a car with a "Don't Let Your American Friends Vote McCain!" bumper stickers.
Hey y'all, I reckon that Sarah Palin is a maverick! A-okay!
Granted I've only lived through a few American presidential elections, but can anyone ever remember an election that has had so much discussion surrounding it, not only in the US but around the world? I somehow feel as though history is being made as we speak. Or type. Or otherwise communicate.
I guess this is why I find it so disappointing that McCain will be the next president. I don't know how he'll pull it off, how many people will have to be bribed, how many electorates (wait, what are they called in the US?) will have to be manipulated, how many votes will have to be "discounted", how much time will have to pass, but he'll do it. I figure we can all spare outselves the heartache and disappointment by accepting this now. I'm already designing my own "Bummer" shirt that I'll get printed once I'm informed of the news.