Elections are always a touchy subject… even more so when the elections are as close as they were this year. I find it interesting that US elections can be a touchy subject not just among Americans, but among many individuals from other countries as well. Sometimes I just want to run and hide so that I can avoid all the conversations, as I learned early on that political and religious opinions are sometimes best kept private.
That said, after a long day, when I was finally in a place to turn on the television and see the election results I cried (no I did not cry because I was unhappy, I was happy), yet it was more than my being happy about the election results. I was also happy that the election was over. It has been so sad watching my friends and family slam each other on Facebook as they argued about political beliefs in conversations that were sometimes pathetic at best. Why were they pathetic? Because they were not conversations, each person had their opinions that were not to be swayed and there was little to no willingness to learn more and understand facts. I read sad statements by family members who clearly needed to “do their homework” but, sadly, did not have enough knowledge to know that they lacked so much knowledge and understanding.
I am proud to be an American. I am thrilled to be able to participate in the democratic process, I shed a tear not only when I heard the results, but also as I cast my own ballot. Our votes DO count and it was an honor to participate, and to help my girls understand the democratic process in the USA.
Most people I know vote on issues that are close to their heart – I did the same. It is my sincere hope that during the next four years there will be significant strides in areas that concern me and my family. Time will tell.
In the meantime, whether or not we voted for Obama, he is our president for the next four years and the representative of our country. I was highly impressed with Romney’s concession speech – so dignified, so honorable, so complimentary. He set a great example for the rest of the country.
Today, 105 days ’til 40, in the aftermath of the 2012 elections, I am so thankful that I have the right to vote – I do not take that for granted.
November 8, 2012 at 00:11
i’m not American but i’m also glad it’s over!
November 8, 2012 at 23:48
I think that the world may be glad.
November 9, 2012 at 00:05
November 8, 2012 at 01:28
This election season was very grueling. I am so thankful it is over.
November 8, 2012 at 23:48
Me too! I can only take so much!
November 8, 2012 at 02:00
I got a bit emotional at the machine as well. But it is an amazing thing that we get to do for an amazing place (is it naïve to choose to be hopeful?). I am glad to be able to be a part of the process even after the rhetoric becomes so tiresome and things of global importance are reduced to caricatures. I wrote a little fable about it (just for fun) – http://sextonsongs.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/the-pachyderm-and-the-ass/, I offer it with thanks for your daily reflections.
November 8, 2012 at 23:48
Wow, thank you so much for the link to your post! 🙂
November 8, 2012 at 02:59
106 days ’till 4o. And, just 1,460 days until the next presidential election. Oh noooooo. 🙂
November 8, 2012 at 23:47
November 8, 2012 at 10:07
Politics are best left to the politicians themselves! *smiling* way toooo touchy a subject!
Great thing about America is voting isn’t compulsory, Australia is!…Glad your happy it’s over!
November 8, 2012 at 23:46
hehehe! I wonder if it is great that it isn’t compulsory, or if it should be…. hmmm. that could be its own debate! 🙂
November 8, 2012 at 14:14
This is perceptive. Here’s a view from outside. First, few Americans seem to appreciate that the U.S. being still the most powerful country in the world has enormous implications for everyone else in the world. For them U.S. actions, the U.S. economy and culture, have a big impact, sometimes positive, sometimes negative. Therefore non-Americans care about who is the U.S. president.
Secondly, I’ve encountered a lot of online debate and sounding off about Obama and Romney from Americans on international forums and it rarely takes into account that many of the people reading the posts aren’t American. The default assumption seems to be that if you’re posting to the net everybody else out there is American too, so you get statements like “What made this country great is…” without bothering to indicate what country that is. This is a little off-putting.
Thirdly, having taken an interest in American politics from way back (the first American election I was aware of was Kennedy/Nixon) and having studied American history as part of my degree, it does seem to me that the American political divide has got sharper, angrier and more a matter of different cultures and languages just as political divides in most of Europe have become less clear-cut. By cultures and languages I don’t mean things like Hispanic communities but different assumptions and ways of talking. This is a problem because the division of powers in the U.S. constitution requires bipartisanship for government to work unless one grouping has a very clear lead, which is now almost unknown.
So I can understand your feeling of walking on eggs. In England we tend to avoid politics as a conversation subject too, but we’ve been doing that for ages out of a dislike for arguments. In Scotland and Wales, by contrast, people often start arguments for fun.
November 8, 2012 at 23:45
Wow, what great comments you made! I laughed at your comment of people who start arguments for fun – I know the type! 🙂 You also make a very good point about the ethnocentricity of Americans – this is something I am keenly aware of and it bothers me too.
November 8, 2012 at 15:26
So glad it’s all over now … it was too much of everything .. even over here. Glad US made the choice as you did – because the whole world has to live this man too. Hopefully in 2016 there will be sensible candidates.
November 8, 2012 at 23:44
Me too – I agree completely! I am also glad these choices were made.
November 8, 2012 at 17:41
yes, i agree with you, also, for me it is a honor and privledge, we have the freedoms because of our military and politicans trying to do right. what distrub me this election is the insensitivity[?] regarding the federal disaster areas here in the north east. to publicize bringing in generators, portable vans, when we have those how lost everything, some lost their lives. we could have waited a week. anyway, time to continue moving forward. have a good weekend.
November 8, 2012 at 23:43
Yes, I agree, the insensitivity is not easy to stomach, is it? Like you say, we have to move on… one step at a time.
November 9, 2012 at 02:14
no it is not, it is a shame, very challenging to move on, even one step at a time…but we need to..all the best.
Another Thousand Words
November 8, 2012 at 20:25
Voting is very important…not only in this past election, but those to come, $00! I was amazed at the numbers…people who could have voted just did not care enough to exercise that right, one of the few responsibilities we have as citizens.
November 8, 2012 at 23:40
Yes, I am always very sad when people do not vote… they think their votes do not matter, but they do. I must admit, I think Australia may have it down with their compulsory voting!
Another Thousand Words
November 9, 2012 at 03:54
November 9, 2012 at 03:19
The comments back and forth on Facebook between family was brutal for us too. It’s been VERY quiet between everyone. I’m glad it’s over too. Time for everyone to get to work to get this country in order!
November 10, 2012 at 01:01
Yes, the comments were NOT fun – in the end I ignored them and made a conscious choice to NOT engage in the conversations that I saw were deteriorating quickly.
November 9, 2012 at 14:04
It is amazing how much the US election is a topic of discussion not just in the US, but folks there need to realise that by virtue of how it has made itself a key country in so many ways and places (some good, some not so much) that it has become a weird kind of fulcrum.
The world doesn’t so much spin around or balance on the US (as some Americans are wont to think in their superior state of mind) but it is like the biggest domino. Anything that hits America badly, hurts everyone – though not necessarily the other way around and that is something that adds to the angst people have against America and to a slightly lesser extent, the more powerful European countries. That is until the entire EU is teetering on the edge recently. Now not so much.
You mentioned people who : “…sadly, did not have enough knowledge to know that they lacked so much knowledge and understanding.”
If I may say, that is a statement that fails itself if you read it again carefully. One cannot have knowledge unless you go out and seek it. I’m born to a family that belongs to a moderately conservative mind-set in a country that is a religious hot-bed and to a religion that has a history of angst with certain other religions. Yet I’ve been given some leeway by my parents growing up and have taken that opening and ravenously consumed information, learning eventually to sort the wheat from the chaff. I have friends of all shapes and sizes and would never disrespect them by calling them “my XYZ friend” or something. They are simply people in my life I deeply care about.
In fact to the point where I’m pretty much an atheist (more or less) and my family has learnt to live with that because it is who I am.
We fight, we shout, we argue – but except for now and again, they listen and if it makes any sense at all, we try and learn from each other. Doesn’t work 100%, but it works.
By the same token though, I have cousins who I’m embaressed are related to me because their views are so archaic I feel like smacking them upside their heads at points.
When it comes to political views however, I find that people are a$$-hats in pretty much any country (if you’ll pardon my french). Those with illogical, strict views, will not budge, no matter how much you try and talk, cajole, explain, debate, make fun of, nothing affects them. It’s really sad actually…
Anyway, I ramble, don’t mind me. Cheers. 😉
November 10, 2012 at 00:59
Thanks for the ramble! I like it!!! 🙂 I have to laugh at your comment about the world not spinning on the US – sadly, too many Americans think it does… I wonder if this will ever change….
November 10, 2012 at 03:39
Well said my friend. May this years election finale be a moment of reset for the constituents of both political parties. One way we can do this, is to personally choose to not entertain ANYTHING, from either “side,” that divides, separates, disparages. I received such an email from a friend who wanted to keep the toxin spreading. I kindly but firmly, let her know that I for one, am no longer willing to be a listening ear. All change begins with me – and you. N’uf said!
November 10, 2012 at 23:35
Wow, you were so wise with what you said to your friend – I did similar and chose to not engage in toxic election conversations.
November 12, 2012 at 02:56
FTDF, this is beautiful, and you know what? It’s one of many such posts I’ve seen here on FB, and I feel very smart to have chummed up with the people I have. So many smart, respectful thoughts being posted here (which is, like for you, in huge contrast to what I see on facebook).
I did okay this week, but I didn’t make it through election night four years ago without crying. Seeing an African-American elected president? Too, too awesome.
November 18, 2012 at 22:34
Thank you for the compliment! I agree with you, it was awesome to see him elected, even the second time… and, truth be told, I cried too!