Thursday, November 6, 2008

I've heard from even more American expat friends that their coworkers are congratulating them on the Obama victory. It seems that Europeans simply assume that all Americans wanted Obama to win.

When you're following the election of a foreign nation, I think the story is drastically simplified.

How foreigners see McCain: He is in the same party as George Bush and he wants the war in Iraq to keep going. He's old and used to be a soldier or something like that. He also has a running mate who's really religious who used to live in the forest and shoot bears.

How foreigners see Obama: He is a black man (no one uses "African American" here), and he wants to fix everything George W. Bush messed up. He wants to end the war in Iraq. He smiles a lot and even took time to visit Europe, so he must care about us.

No one considers the economy or taxes. And forget about things like constitutional amendments, and gay rights. I can almost guarantee no one in Switzerland thinks "Obama won? That's great because he's pro-choice and wants to reform health care."

When Viktor Yushchenko was running for president in Ukraine, didn't you want him to win just because he dissented from Russian control and his opponents poisoned him and his face turned blue and you wanted to see him overcome that adversity? That was their story simplified for us.

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