Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Something in the Air in America

There is something in the air….I can feel it, a sort of buzz, the American people are excited (and it's contagious), and it's ALL about the elections. I guess I'd compare it to the sort of excitement that that used to be generated by an Ahly- Zamalek match in Egypt when Zamalek was still a real football team. Being in the nation's Capital in these no less than historic times is fascinating.

The elections are what everyone's talking about: the sweet middle aged black lady who works as a security guard at AT&T (The guys who work there are hot, the network coverage, not so much) who tried to vote early but found that her name wasn't on the list but dutifully filled in the required documents without complaints in order to properly submit her vote anyway, the political editors at National Public Radio who are covering the campaign trail almost literally minute by minute and are concerned about the direction of the female vote, and the (I must say, super awesome)gay guys I met at the bar today who gave me a brilliant and passionate briefing on the elections and queer politics in the USA.

Everyone seems to feel like they have a stake in this. People are defending their interests or defending certain values, and the faithful amongst them whether they adhere to the cult of Obama or McCaine (or should I say Palin?), are fighting ferociously.

America, it seems, is polarized. And the polls agree.

The media is bombarding the American viewer with "expert opinions" so fast and so hard that no one has the time or brain capacity to come up with their own. Watch dog groups are trying to keep tabs on the candidates and the people who work for them. Sloppy voting and voting manipulation, say the analysts, are expected. The media is hyper-profiling the candidates as the candidates are hyper-profiling themselves. A lot of the times the real issues are being forgotten in favor of focusing on the personal lives of the candidates and their petty infighting. Spin doctors are making big bucks. There is a rich and ongoing public debate. Campaign volunteers in the street are sincere and enthusiastic. Many people believe in a cause and their ability to affect the outcome of the election, and their own lives for the next four years. Interest in elections and policy is at a record high. People are coming together, organizing, lobbying, fundraising, purely on voluntary bases in order to use their political system to effect change. Things are messy, and good and bad. This, is participatory politics a la Americana. This is real-time, real-life, real-crazy democracy. And yet it is democracy. Welcome to America. How can we help you? Here is your voting card, and here's your Mastercard. Would you like that upsized? We also have healthy green options, only 70 calories a serving. If you buy two you can get one free. And if you accept Jesus on the inside, you get Jerry Falwell for a year at only $9.99. And if you don't? Well, it's a free country. Or so we've been told.

1 comment:

The Critic said...

i totally agree with you when you say that the media is hyper profiling the candidates as they are hyper-profiling themselves. Because this is how the Americans choose their president, based on personal information and their conservative ideas, instead of taking into consideration the right reasons for choosing your president. Is he for the best interest of the country? What are the standards on which they make their selection? Can someone tell me?