Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Brand new day

On waking up and checking the good ol' internets I have actually cried.
With relief.
I may have been born in the U.K., I may never have lived in the U.S.A. for any great length of time but I am American (and I'm British - I'm both). My mum worked hard as my brother and I were growing up to instil in us a sense of identity as Americans. And having that identity has not always been easy. I encountered a lot of scorn growing up; I don't sound American and I don't go around with "I'm a U.S. citizen" tattooed on my forehead so I could not tell you the number of times I've been present when someone has been making generalised slurs about American people. Now, I know there are some pretty odious American people out there in the world - but there are equally some pretty odious British people out there in the world too; because people's actions and attitudes are defined and moulded by more than their nationality. Then, I'm afraid, the whole Afghanistan/Iraq-thing brought more anti-U.S. (or anti-George Bush) feelings to elements of the general British public.
I would like a United States that I does not require me to go around defending part of my nationality. And I hope Barack Obama and the increased Democratic representation in both the House and the Senate will put the U.S. in more of a position that Europeans can understand and will feel they have something in common with.
I know it's pretty unusual for me to get political on this site - and I hope that doesn't send any of you up there in arms (which I defend your right to bear - I wouldn't myself and quite frankly I'm alarmed by the number of children and young people that get hurt or killed by firearms. If you have 'em - *please*, *please* don't give them to your eight year old to play with or leave them where your teenager can get at them if they decide they're having a bad year at school.....but, the Constitution says you can - and I respect that.) I voted this year (and I have voted in every election since I was old enough to vote in 1996 - even from overseas) If you're disappointed that your candidate didn't win - I'm sorry; I can relate - I've felt like that the last two times. It's wretched - and we feel wretched because we care about our country. We think that care should come in different ways - but remember, I have a British ethos at the base of my beliefs. I *really* believe in healthcare that's free at point of use (it's not free, the money for it doesn't come out of thin air) - I've paid for my health care; I've just paid for it a little bit at a time in every paycheque - in my taxes. And yes, "Who's this FICA guy and why's he getting all my money?" (Except we don't have FICA here, obviously) But over the last four years I'm really grateful that I paid my money that little bit at a time and wasn't forking over handfuls of cash at every chemotherapy appointment.

End ramble.
Hey, the guy I voted for won. And, yes, I'm from Massachusetts - so it's not like my vote upset the applecart and turned that whole election around. So I'm happy. But I'm sorry if you're not.


Ciorstaidh said...

*yay Obama*

I don't understand American politics or the electoral college AT ALL, but this I do know: the 2008 Presidential election had the highest turnout in something like a century. It was close, a lot closer than it looks, which means that every person's vote really did count. I have heard and seen so many people say they voted this time for the first time. President Elect Obama is truly a people's President. And that's a great thing. (Please let it not all be bull...)

(PS - while I was at university one enterprising individual made a T-shirt proclaiming, "I DID NOT vote for *that* man" LOL)

laurie said...

Absolutely yay for Obama. And yes - hope for something more like universal health care.

titan said...

Agreed - GObama! It was a glorious evening for most Americans last night. We're going to have an intelligent president again!!! And one who wants to end some of the corruption and self-interest policies in our government and economy. He seems to be ready to roll up his sleeves and get dirty, and I sincerely hope he does.

PS - Sepha, I didn't realize you were American! Guess I should do my research. :)

Dorothy said...

Hello Sepha, you sound great and your opinion should count as all of ours does...My grandson is in Iraq for the second time...he has less then 60 days left there and we're praying for his safe return.

Dorothy from grammology