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So, about these elections........

This is longish post for me, but I think the time has come. So bear with me.


********


So, that long-awaited, long-anticipated, feared, hoped-for, sinister, big 4 November is getting closer and my bad conscience somehow spawned this post that's been in my head for a few days now. I've said that a couple of times (and I'll say it again): I am trying to be a loyal member of LJ community - meaning I read the posts "produced" by people on my f-list, I comment, I reply, I do what I think is a proper thing for a member of blog community. Maybe some of you have noticed I kept unusually quiet with posts regarding American elections. I somehow feel I should explain why.

I do follow what's going on in your part of the World. Of course I do. Not least, because I am a journalist and I cannot escape news even if I wanted to. I follow what's going on, because this year's elections are probably a turning point for the whole country and probably also for the most of the world. I am looking at it all from a safe distance, without any deep feelings and emotions, I am trying to be just an observer (well, as someone in Slovenia, that's exactly what I am, but still...) and what I see never ceases to amaze me. The two choices standing in front of American voters are so abundantly clear it's almost painful. And yet, there's still this struggle going on. And the stuff that's going on is making its way into LiveJournal as well. Of course, it does, there's no other way. But for most of the time it's the stuff, that can easily be classified as "convincing the convinced ones". And that was also one of the reasons that kept my mouth shut, although I read it all.

There's so much in all those posts. And I really understand your sadness, your anger, your frustration, your fear. I understand it, because I do feel the same way. I do not want the States to continue their way even deeper into a society of fear, hatred, political correctness (which is a sign of hypocrisy in my book - just call them as you see them, ok?), into a land of therapists, into a land where "gottahaveit" is all that matters. I don't want this to happen, because I am really fascinated by the United States, the symbols this country once used to represent, the openness and kindness of its people and I could go on and on with that.

I was in America twice, in 1999 and in 2001 and both of the trips were probably pretty close to the best one can experience on a business trip or during vacation time. I was there two weeks before 11 September happened and totally changed the world as we all knew. And totally changed the States I learned to know and like before that. And it was in 2001 when I decided I do not want to go back to the States as long it's covered by Bush/McCain/WhoeverRepublican lid. And I would really like to go back, oh trust me, I would. I would love to hit the West Coast so much. Start way up there (not where you can see Russia, though), let's say in Seattle with a bunch of fine LJ'ers and then find my way all the way down to San Diego. That's the plan that's waiting to happen. But for the time being I prefer to travel around way more relaxed and sane Europe.

And I really hope this great nation finds the strength to steer its way back to life again. I would just like you to know that I *do* care, even though it doesn't look like it.

I care. Not least because the "wild, wild west" is still waiting for me, right? :)


Comments

( 44 comments — Leave a comment )
bluebubbleblue
Oct. 11th, 2008 01:43 pm (UTC)
How about visit Asia someday, my friend? : )
tilia_tomentosa
Oct. 11th, 2008 02:49 pm (UTC)
You are the most conscientious blogger on earth!
tilia_tomentosa
Oct. 11th, 2008 02:50 pm (UTC)
Oops, sorry, this was meant for oyur friend Tomaz here!
bluebubbleblue
Oct. 12th, 2008 01:42 pm (UTC)
Never mind. : ) Still thank you though. : )
tilia_tomentosa
Oct. 12th, 2008 04:08 pm (UTC)
:) :) :)
paterson_si
Oct. 12th, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC)
Are you sure? :)))))
paterson_si
Oct. 12th, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC)
That's also on my wish list, don't you worry! :)
tilia_tomentosa
Oct. 11th, 2008 03:20 pm (UTC)
OFF TOPIC: Tomaz, can you try to read in Bulgarian?
I just came across one of the "secret" Bulgarian folk tales that made me both blush violently and laugh like crazy... it's heterosexual, but it could still be... well... interesting to you. Oh damn it, it's in a dialect... never mind.

Translation into English would be VERY difficult, and not because of THAT terminology. I don't have the time to do it right now, and I'm so tired that I'm losing control of my English, and haven't finished my OFFICIAL translation yet... I'm so out of practice!

Here is a link for you, anyway. Give the original a try, and I'll provide you with a translation some of the following days.
http://e-vestnik.bg/3980
paterson_si
Oct. 12th, 2008 07:11 pm (UTC)
I think I might die while trying to read and understand Bulgarian, but I will surely give it a try. :)))
tilia_tomentosa
Oct. 12th, 2008 07:16 pm (UTC)
There is no need, I already translated the most important part into English. See my latest FRIENDS-ONLY entry, LOL!

I'm still fighting with that translation. I finished the technical part about that administrative unit of Bulgaria - now I'm at the "advertising" part, so to say. Stupid, boring and badly written - and somebody else corrected the GRAMMAR before me, but the style is terrible! The world is full of people who cannot write properly in their own language, alas!
paterson_si
Oct. 12th, 2008 07:26 pm (UTC)
Will check it soon. I am fighting with my f-list now. I was LJlazy this weekend and now there's this huge pile waiting for me. :))))

Edited at 2008-10-12 07:27 pm (UTC)
jawnbc
Oct. 11th, 2008 03:42 pm (UTC)
would love to hit the West Coast so much. Start way up there (not where you can see Russia, though), let's say in Seattle with a bunch of fine LJ'ers and then find my way all the way down to San Diego.

You fucking bastard.
paterson_si
Oct. 11th, 2008 06:30 pm (UTC)
I stand severely corrected. I will DEFINITELY start in Vancouver :-)
jawnbc
Oct. 11th, 2008 08:29 pm (UTC)
*squee*
paterson_si
Oct. 12th, 2008 07:12 pm (UTC)
Do I have a choice? NO! :)

(Because I don't want to have it. Would love to see you again, Dr. E.)
copperain
Oct. 12th, 2008 02:15 am (UTC)
That's better, Mister!!
paterson_si
Oct. 12th, 2008 07:12 pm (UTC)
I think so, too, yes :)
wrascalism
Oct. 11th, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC)
I've not been commenting on the US election yet the spectacle and noise that the neighbours make even drown out the murmur of Canada's election on October 14th.

Still, I take an interest because my sisters are American and I wonder how they can stay. They love where they live (northern New Hampshire) and don't want to move. And with my American parents who adopted me when they lived in London, I lived for many years in the US.

I believe that the average American doesn't see much difference between the parties, apart from race, regretably. From our perspective both parties are right wing, even tho the US media calls the Democrats 'leftist'. If you listen carefully they both espouse the same agenda. Talk about health care for instance has been going on for decades and will continue for decades because the political will to do something like socialised medicine is not there.

And bear in mind the US's history of isolationism. They consider the world not. They have resources, docile neighbours (for the most part) and no need to wonder what lies outside their borders. I can't tell you how many times I've been told I never thought of going to Canada by folks I've met just south in Washington State. For their lack of curiosity about the world I blame their educational system, but that's another topic.

They have no idea how intently the world is watching their decision. I wonder if it would surprise them.

(steps off soapbox)

*Ahem*
Starting in Seattle?

paterson_si
Oct. 12th, 2008 07:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks for this reply. I always like to read different perspectives about some topic and I have to say you offered a really good one. But I still cannot really grasp the "no need to wonder what lies outside...". Wasn't also the curiosity onbe of the factors that made humankind what it is today? But, hey, I just can't change the world....

*ahem*

Starting in Vancouver and then cross the border and move south... All the way down. :)
wrascalism
Oct. 12th, 2008 07:39 pm (UTC)
But I still cannot really grasp the "no need to wonder what lies outside...".

Think of the story of the great American melting pot. People would come from all over, to abandon the old countries and histories to become one nation. That attitude and the US's geographic isolation made it easy to think that way. Not having to be worried about the many messy wars back in Europe or wherever.

In Canada it was rather the reverse, we have continual reminders of colonialism (eg: the queen on currency, etc.), the UK parliament still had some legislative power over us until the constitution was repatriated in 1982. That and the determination of the francophones to survive in an english speaking continent, led to Canadian 'multiculturalism'. In other words, I'm OK, you're OK.

move south... All the way down. :) Oh, I like the sound of that!
paterson_si
Oct. 12th, 2008 07:44 pm (UTC)
You maybe started convincing me, but I am still not buying it. Guess I grew up in a country/society that was really curious about the world around. But then again, a little country with only 2M people cannot really afford fucy-ya-all approach. I would have gotten eaten with a flicker.

Yes... moving south is always good. :)
inbhirnis
Oct. 11th, 2008 04:59 pm (UTC)
First: Tomaz - I have some real hope that you'll be able to plan that trip back to the US you want to take. Things are looking pretty hopeful right now that the change that would allow you to visit is going to take place.

Second: As a new citizen of 8 years, I can definitely see where wrascalism is coming from. I still remember when I was a Teaching Assistant at UCLA in the Geography Department in 1987 being blown away when I was asked by my students where I was from. When I said I was from Scotland, one of them asked, "Is that near New Zealand?". I'm still shocked by how little international news (other than the wars we're involved in) makes it on to the screen here (thank goodness for BBC America and The Economist magazine).

So, yes, it's true that a sizeable portion of the US population is very insular-looking; it's also true that both parties are to the right of the political center of Europe or Canada, which is a reflection of the society and history here (and coming from a place with a National Health Service, the whole health care issue here just baffles me).

But, I also know that there are huge numbers of people here who are interested in the world around them; who do think that there is a role for government in providing some basic social safety nets, such as decent health care system, and given the recent world financial woes, maybe that will resonate with more here. And, I'm also struck by the incredible generosity and openness of the people here, which often gets overwhelmed by the image of the angry gun-toting anti-government type.

I hope that after November, some of those characteristics will become more evident to the rest of the world, and that you'll feel like visiting... :-)

Edited at 2008-10-11 08:16 pm (UTC)
wrascalism
Oct. 12th, 2008 05:27 pm (UTC)
Roy, I had a similar geographic experience at high school in NY state. Classmates would always ask if I was from Quebec. I came from Victoria, BC, invariably they didn't know where that was, so I tried to use Seattle as a geographic reference.

Most didn't know where Seattle was either.

And then there was the times they ask me to speak "Canadian".

Eh!
inbhirnis
Oct. 12th, 2008 05:47 pm (UTC)
That's pitiful! I guess in NY state, they knew that Montreal was relatively close, but that was about it.
paterson_si
Oct. 12th, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC)
So imagine me in vast WWWorld of the internet trying to explain where in Europe Slovenia is. :)))
wrascalism
Oct. 12th, 2008 07:44 pm (UTC)
Is the saying true that "Swing a cat in Europe and it lands in another country"?

Must be alot of cats in Italy now.

:o)
paterson_si
Oct. 12th, 2008 08:31 pm (UTC)
hahahahaha it can easily be like that. So, I live in Ljubljana, which is more or less in the center of the country. But if you drive for one hour and a few minutes you end up in:
- Italy, if you go south;
- Austria, if you go north;
- Croatia, if you travel south;
- Hungray, if you drive north-east.

So, yes.... cats galore in Italy. Unless they have eaten them all. LOL
paterson_si
Oct. 12th, 2008 07:21 pm (UTC)
Yes, it does sound a bit complicated (I am trying to stay away from the word 'confused'), and I hope I made clear I am not generalising things, I just wanted to explain why I am staying out of a certain part of LJ material.

And trust me, I really, really, really hope that things change for better in November. The world desperately needs better America. No doubt about that. And.... yes, I would love to visit again. :)

Edited at 2008-10-12 07:21 pm (UTC)
cmorley
Oct. 11th, 2008 08:49 pm (UTC)
I'd say the collective zeitgeist of the country was changing before 9/11. It was heading towards being more fanatically religious, more anti-intellectual, more a race to the bottom to find the dumbest "common man" ideal (who says the common man can't be better than that?) even before Bush took office.

Now I hope it's heading towards a new respect for science, a rising up of the common man, a healthier look at the world around us, a rolling up our sleeves and making ourselves the best we can be, instead of just dismissing everyone else as inferior to us.

But, collectively, you know? There really are a lot of good people around here, smart people, dedicated people. Sometimes they're just really hard to hear in the din.
paterson_si
Oct. 12th, 2008 07:25 pm (UTC)
I have all my thumbs up that your second section comes true. And I know about good people in America. I know quite a few and I am happy for that. Not to mention I have found quite a few extraordinary ones also here on LJ. :)
cmorley
Oct. 13th, 2008 01:00 am (UTC)
Me too.

And, you know, if you're going to start off in British Columbia, you should be sure to see the capitol, Victoria. It's a beautiful city. And, um, a ferry crossing away for me. Heh. :D
paterson_si
Oct. 13th, 2008 06:17 am (UTC)
Okay. I am putting that on the list as well. :)
mikiedoggie
Oct. 11th, 2008 09:43 pm (UTC)
You should take a layover in Chicago if you visit the States. ;-)
paterson_si
Oct. 12th, 2008 07:27 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a plan :)
dendren
Oct. 11th, 2008 10:28 pm (UTC)
I avoid politics on LJ for several reasons but definitely don't have issue who wish it to be their political forum. For me tho... LJ is my escape from much of the shit in the world. I of course can't fully escape it all and even my own posts have slid towards the dark side but... I try to avoid doing that as much as I avoid dissing someone's politics LOL

So I guess the important thing here is that at this point I know that the wild wild west is desperately waiting you and your visit.
paterson_si
Oct. 12th, 2008 07:28 pm (UTC)
And I just love your LJ the way it is, P. I try to keep mine more or less the same. :)

Wild, Wild West WILL see me! :)
sibertater
Oct. 12th, 2008 04:05 am (UTC)
I've been removing people from my life that are Republicans. I have no use for them. I won't and I don't and you can't make me.

I used to say it was okay to be one, as long as you didn't support this administration. Now? I change my mind. I just don't want them in my life. I don't even talk to my parents about it. They are so hardcore about it and I can't imagine why.

It still amazes me that people will not vote for Obama simply because he's black. I have an uncle that I can't even stand to be around right now because he goes off on rants about it. It's scary and I can't stop worrying about that.

EDIT: I've never been able to stand to be around him and this is a good reason not to.

Edited at 2008-10-12 04:09 am (UTC)
paterson_si
Oct. 12th, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
Just to make sure.... I am a Democrat at heart. :)
sibertater
Oct. 12th, 2008 07:47 pm (UTC)
I figured. That post was quickly written. I really am not so heartless, but I really don't care for all that mess.
paterson_si
Oct. 12th, 2008 08:29 pm (UTC)
I know you're not heartless, Nick, and I like your way of expressing how you feel. I am sometimes also like that. I appreciate that. :)
ubermunkey
Oct. 13th, 2008 11:53 pm (UTC)
yes the wild wild west would welcome you with open arms and homes

xo
c

and yes these things you write hit so close to home for me it isn't even funny.

She, he, they scare the hell out of me. I look at the situation and find it beyond belief the as a country we can be so damn dumb?!

OY!

Ok then. Have a good one.

paterson_si
Oct. 14th, 2008 12:01 am (UTC)
Oh, yes... wild, wild west.... looking forward to that! big time!

well, I really hope the things start moving in a better direction for us all in november.

and.... you also have a good one, sexy!
cuboz
Oct. 25th, 2008 06:49 am (UTC)
I've stayed quietly away from the economic debate, because I truly think I'm not enough of a politically and economically intelligent person to offer an interesting view on what's going on...

Suffice to say, if McCain / Palin get in, there's gonna be a LOT of our friends wanting to leave the States! I'm crossing my fingers that it DOESN'T happen and Obama gets in (which looks increasingly likely based on recent polls)...although I'd LOVE a lot of my American friends to move over here!

(As well as my Slovenian ones!)

The clincher is an American friend of mine, who is now an Australia citizen, telling me that Palin is Pentecostal, and believes that the "rapture" could be brought about by nuclear war!

Friggin' SCARY!
paterson_si
Oct. 26th, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC)
Palin is a simple piece of shit.
( 44 comments — Leave a comment )