September 9th 2008 – Today in the local paper- (to put this in context, I live in a beach resort community of 450,000 people, in a country with only 24 million people), the headline was “Rescuing Freddy and Fanny May Save our Jimmy’s”.
Our little town as a premier tourist destination for local Australian’s depends on development of high rise resorts and hotels for its healthy survival. Our “Jimmy’s” are in reference to one of our most well known developers, who is in serious trouble, because of the credit crisis birthed to a large degree in the USA and built on greed of the rankest kind.
I do follow daily the changing landscape of the USA political and financial sector. I am watching with bated breath the presidential election. I only wished I could vote. The truth of the matter is that who ever the US people do vote for, will affect me, my community on the other side of the world, and everyone else in the world. I only wished the USA people as a whole woke up to that fact.
So yes, I do get mad when many of the US population don’t show up to vote. They demonstrate by their very negligent action that they have zero to no awareness of the rest of the world, and that the rest of the world is truly affected by their voting actions and inactions. They continue to show their parochial, narrow minded, grossly ignorant and extremely arrogant attitude. It is exactly the part of the USA that the rest of the world has come to loathe. The tragedy is that for many people awareness of the rest of the world, global news, global events taught in schools and ongoing propagation of American exceptionalism results in large scale ignorance of the nature of the USA as a part of the world.
That is not to say that all American’s are like this. Most of my best friends are Americans. They are well aware of the implications. They travel, read world news, and are open to the larger context of global everythings. They have for the last 8 years, held their heads in shame.
The biggest risk is that on November 4, the USA will once again elect idiocracy. Scary even still, that we could have a fundamentalist creationist, book burning, gun toting, only last year passport issued person in the White House, even if she is in the second room. If that does happen, then on the good side, the slide into US oblivion will be fast. Then we, the rest of the world, and those more awake people in the US, can get on with building better things, the phoenix from the ashes.
*2018 Re-reading this, and idiocracy is now normal. While the USA political system is corrupt (as with almost every other state in the world) and the leadership has an extreme absence of advanced intelligence and not an iota of care for anyone else, the extreme awareness of our shadow states has thankfully awoken many who have been shirking their citizen responsibility towards greater activism.
I am loving the rise of our young adults, women, the disadvantaged – all who have for too long felt powerless, voiceless. Together we can be the change.
We need integrity in politics, in democracy, in education.
Integrity is the essence.