Wednesday, November 03, 2004

American Election 2

The results are now known as Kerry has conceded. I may not like the result but that is democracy and I have to live with it.
I was somewhat taken aback by the comments on the previous post - hey guys it was only an opinion! Am new to this blog lark but realised that I had effectively been "flamed". Is that still a relevant term to describe the response to my election comments?
What I will concede is that I was not entirely surprised by the result but was surprised by the strength of the popular vote and being a brit I struggle to understand it. Let me just say that I went to school with Americans (one school where Americans were in the majority in an International School and another where Americans were in the minority and attending a UK Forces school).
Whilst I had a number of American friends and got on with nearly everyone on an individual basis there was a much bigger picture which was much harder to get to grips with.
For example, in the US dominated school everything had to be done "The American Way". We Brits thought this was great when this meant having time off Maths (Math if you are American)to go see the football team/cheerleaders but we were less enthralled when our practices seemed to be over-ridden.
One thing struck me at a very early age and that was American Patriotism. How I envied it. One fairly trivial example was the reverential treatment given to the Stars and Stripes - let it touch the floor at your peril! It was clear that the Americans were American and proud of it and we Brits never had the same attitude towards our country. Yet, the vast majority of us were children of servicemen. By nature this should have made us all patriots but there were clear differences between the nationalities.

I still envy the Americans the pride they have in their country and think that we could all learn a lot from them. My puzzlement over the re-election of Bush is actually nothing to do with the war, religion or Republican politics. On a very basic level I just can't understand the attraction and I know that I am missing something on a very fundamental level. Clearly he has something that appeals to the electorate and something that Kerry must lack - but am I so wrong for admitting that the attraction is completely lost on me?