As the world knows, the American Presidential Election took place yesterday. Now I won’t discuss the candidate I voted for because yes, I did my paperwork so that I could do my absentee ballot for NYC, and it’s not the place to discuss it. However, I will comment on being so far away and almost out of the loop while something major happens back home.
I love politics. I’ve studied and supported politics since I was 5 years-old. Don’t believe me, ask my family. In the winter time, I would build podiums in the snow and practice my acceptance and inauguration speeches. I would give my speeches to my teachers to get some guidance on how I was doing. I was super serious. Although now I realize that I would be an extremely horrible politician. I’m a terrible liar, if I despise someone, I don’t hide it, I’m way too altruistic, and I’m hesitant to make serious decisions that have so many consequences. I mean choosing a college to go to was super tedious, although in retrospect, I did decide and move to Germany quite quickly….
So being far away was difficult for me. I can say that the way media is recently, saturation is inevitable especially back home. Being away at this point doesn’t feel so bad in some ways; I didn’t get sick of the election or hearing about it because it wasn’t everywhere. I actively had to pursue information sometimes. And I love having the outside perspectives here about our politics and answering how it all works. That does not however, mean that I agree with how the politics work or are, I think it would be incredibly difficult to find a candidate that represents all that you believe and want in your country, and a system that works for everyone. BUT at the end of the day, we Americans understand our country, we understand our own desires, we inherently know (or should know) why one area of the country is so different from another, and for the most part, why we do things the way we do, even if they aren’t for good reasons.
I don’t mind the criticism Americans get for all of our idiosyncrasies, how our system of voting works, how we have a vast amount of idiots in our country…etc,. People everywhere in the world have a right to criticize us, just like we do to you. Being judgmental is a very human trait and action, regardless of culture. I do think at some point (I’m mostly shouting out to Non-Americans here) that to criticize how we celebrate or mourn when our candidate wins or loses, to say that Americans/ American politics are evil/ mean-spirited, and to say that Americans are brainwashed is…..unnecessary. Unless you’ve lived your life, born and raised in the US, I don’t think you can justly have a view of all American people, lest you forget, America is a really big country, even I can’t have a definitive generalization about all Americans. Sure I can make lots of generalist jokes but none of that is technically true; like my post a few weeks ago that my German husband-to-be and I made about Germans, it’s not really true just something we thought was funny.
And it is one thing to joke and another to blatantly bash an entire country, the citizens, the culture based on their political system and responses. I would never say that about another country; I live in Germany and although I don’t always agree with or understand the culture, that has nothing to do with the intelligence of Germans. There is good and bad with everything and everywhere. And I hope everyone understood what I was saying, even if poorly articulated. Thanks for reading!