Wednesday, November 7, 2012

on other people's elections and compassion

On the morning after the US elections 2012, I want to preface this post by saying firstly that I am personally pleased that Obama has the chance be President for another four years.  Secondly, I know very little about US politics (I get very into it for about three days every four years!).

However, I think we, as the Rest Of The World, have to be very careful triumphing over an election result that, ultimately, is not ours.  I have seen, and felt uneasy about, lots of facebook statuses and twitter updates from non-Americans congratulation Americans on their choice, celebrating the fact that Romney lost.

I think we should remember a few things.  Firstly, we perhaps feel Obama is best for leadership because of his foreign policy?  But foreign policy is only a tiny amount of the myriad of things that the President of the USA has to deal with on a daily basis.  So to us, who do not see America's industry, employment, homelessness, healthcare, education, crime levels, it seems a way bigger deal than to those inside America.  I'm sure there are people in our country for whom David Cameron's foreign policy is only as important, if not less important, than all those myriad other things he has to deal with.

I also think we should remember that because we are not American, we cannot possibly understand what it is to be American.  We think we are fairly similar, but infact the more you get to chat to Americans, I think you understand that there are lots of tiny tiny cultural differences that in fact make our outlooks on life very different.  And so I think it's kind of presumptious and a little arrogant of us to think we know what is best for a nation that is not our own.  I'm sure there are some US residents, both victorious Democrats and defeated Republicans, who would wish the rest of the world would shut up.  I'm not sure I would be particularly gracious if I had a German friend waxing lyrical about the next UK elections.

Thirdly, I think we have to remember that all our opinions are formed by what we read and what we are told, and our media is probably fairly left wing when it comes to American Politics.

As I said, I do believe that Obama is the best man for the job in terms of the world situation, and from my, British, standpoint it seems that he has the better ideas for America itself.  But I think we should be compassionate to our fellows in the States and understand that we can't really understand!

No comments:

Post a Comment