I do not usually write about politics in this forum but today for the first time I voted in a American Presidential election. I immigrated many years ago after falling in love with an American I met in Canada (my one and only husband, Nicolai Larsen). I remained a permanent resident green card holder even though I was eligible to become an American citizen years ago. During the first Bush term I got motivated to become a citizen, to vote him out of office. I became American in mid-November 2004 in a moving swearing-in ceremony but too late to vote in the 2004 election. New citizens from countries around the world were sworn in by country of origin in alphabetical order starting with Afghanistan and ending with Zimbabwe. As each country was called new Americans rose until the full auditorium was standing. The largest group were from China, Mexico, The Philippines and India. By the time Switzerland was called almost everyone was already standing.
I voted for the first time in 2006, than last June in the primary. Voting today was easy in my precinct, no lines at 9:30 am, a voting machine with a paper audit trail clearly seen when voting, 3 chances to double check before casting the vote, so all above board.
Political opinions aside, this run to election has been riveting. I have spent many hours knotting away in my studio listening to the news on my computer. My family and friends in Europe are also incredibly interested in the outcome of this election. Regardless we will get a new president who will restore some of our international standing. As to real change we will see as actual change is a lot harder than rhetorics and so many of the problems facing us have no easy solutions.
Regardless, goodbye imperial style swaggering, goodbye bad elocution and goodbye Bush kleptocracy...
Added on January 9, 2009 - just 11 days before the Inauguration: I just saw a photo of Chaney presiding over the Senate as the election was certified. Was he smirking as the administration he represents is handing out a plate of manure to Obama? I believe the Bush administration thought the economy was not going to fall into shamble until they were well out of office and they got caught by surprise by the timing, not the fact that it was occurring as they continued to plunder the dying beast until the very last minute. Had that occurred, they could even have blamed the whole debacle onto the upcoming administration and repeated it at nauseum until it became a 'truth'. It was the last stand of a dying breed of dinosaurs, a retroactive force - the old economy based purely on profit regardless on any costs to society at large or future generations. And now that all the old structures are collapsing, the need to create new ones is obvious. So we may have hope for the future with the return of actual civil servants to the White House to help us move toward a new economy that is sustainable and less toxic to the planet. Let's just hope the transition will not be too bumpy for each of us as individuals, and let's embrace the future of new possibilities as it is coming anyways.