I hope that my gentle American readers can forgive this. I write nothing about America without getting hate mail, but I was hoping we could speak reasonably for a change. I promise not to rant, and perhaps I can get you to listen. Call it an intervention. Call it a little chat from your neighbor across the fence.
I know you're very sensitive on the subject; I know that often it feels like the whole world is against you, that none of us are in your camp. You're proud of your country and we all understand that. We've visited your country and for the most part we like it. There's very little that's actually wrong with the land and the people. It's your philosophy that makes us uncomfortable.
You see, today, as you're having an election, the vast majority of us out here in the world can't understand what you're thinking. To us, it seems obvious who ought to be elected. To us, we can't even understand how Romney got on the ticket. It's not that we don't understand the need for a Republican party - we do. It isn't that we don't understand why Republicans defend those positions - we understand that also. It's that we can't understand how, from around three hundred million people, this can possibly be the best candidate half your country can endorse. It baffles us to the extreme that no reasonable, charismatic, properly educated candidate came forward to take the helm of the Republicans and make them look reputable. Surely, there must be someone in the country on the right with more than one degree; who has more than a passing military experience; who has experienced more of the world than a small fraction of high-end holiday resorts. Yet, no such person materialized, not over any of the 18 months of this ongoing, impractical experiment to allow a few voters from Hamilton County in Ohio and Hillsborough County in Florida to decide who is your President.
Speaking now as a person living in a country whose present Prime Minister does not represent my philosophy of government, I want to say that I do not find myself afraid. Yes, Stephen Harper, who is the P.M. of Canada, is the head of the Conservative Party. They hold many of the same ideals and purposes as the American Republicans do. But I am not afraid to find myself living in a country that has chosen to elect them. Nor do I hate them for winning the last election. I would rather they hadn't; but I have faith that the country will be run decently until the Liberals are chosen, and policies I support are reimposed.
I don't understand how you can stand to live in a country where you fear who will win your election. I can tell you that we out here in the world fear that you will vote for people who clearly do not care if the poor live or die. We in the world fear the next war that America will start. We fear the next bullying tactic America's Government plays to support its cadre of corporate supporters. We listen to Americans scream their fear, and we don't understand why this fear must continue. We want to believe your country will not be forever run by people who seem incapable of empathy or kindness.
Believe me in this, also; we are not overwhelmingly impressed with President Obama. He seems to speak well, but he is as much a warmonger as the previous President and, like all candidates we've seen for these last four decades, he seems unable to understand that violence is not peace. His concerns regarding the various factions fighting for control in various countries are clearly those of the American Military and the American Businessman; humanitarianism seems irrelevant to him. Human pain and suffering, even that in his own country, seems irrelevant to him. The man talks a good patter, but he hedges and backfills and never quite seems to be willing to accept that unpopularity from a very vocal minority is not a reason not to take action.
I would ask you, America, to vote your conscience, but I think I can speak for everyone out here in the world when I say it does not appear that you have one. Please do not take that as an attack. Take that as a reason to convey your beliefs in a manner differently than you have. I have no doubt that you do indeed have a conscience. For the sake of heaven and all the people of this planet, your own people included, please listen to it. Please show us that you are listening to it. Please show us that it is the same conscience that humanity has striven for these many centuries: that human beings are more important than money; that we must sacrifice our comfort and our security where human suffering is involved; and that when we do not get what we want, we count our time and patiently re-evaluate the situation, before turning to violence.
I would like someday to see some of this emerge from the greater majority of people in your country.