July 23, 2006
I was having drinks with some of my brother's Spanish friends the other night when the talk turned to the 2008 election. The Europeans are rightfully angry at the US. Their anger is so deep they have essentially written us off as a corrupt nation. They fact that 1/2 the country voted against Bush and Co. in 2004 is essentially ignored (not to mention the fact that he didn't actually win the popular vote 2000). Generally speaking Europeans treat us as all gung ho Bush supporters.
When I apologetically explained that most of the country, even those of us who did not vote for Bush, did support the war initially because we believed the lies that were being told by the government I was greeted with incredulity. 'How could you have not seen through the lies?' they asked. 'How could you be so stupid.' No amount of contrition or explanation that we were a wounded nation susceptible to those spreading fear could convince my fellow beer drinkers that a majority of people in our nation now sees the war as national disgrace, a colossal and shameful mistake.
When the conversation came around to talking about the 2008 election I told them I thought the Republicans would lose for sure and they would lose to either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, I was greeted with disbelief. 'The Republicans will just steal this election too,' they said. They had never heard of Obama but when I explained he was was a young 1/2 Kenyan Senator from Illinois who had been against the Iraq war from the beginning, they were incredulous. 'No way,' they said, 'no way for Hillary either. America will vote Republican just as you did in 2004.' It was not long before they were essentially calling us warmongering racists and from their perspective that's probably what it looks like. This is now the image of our country amongst young liberal Europeans
I believe we will redeem ourselves. I believe the the current administration will be crushed in the 2008 election, and I believe we will elect someone who will remake our government so that we are once again proud of it and can once again be accepted as citizens of the world. We can't erase the wounds we've created, but perhaps, by being more true to our creed as a nation we can start to regain the world's respect. Mark my words you're going to hear a lot more about this Senator from Illinois in the near future. My vote will be for Obama in 2008.