Somebody asked me why I want Mike Gravel to win – why I care either way, since I’m not even an American, and this is, after all, an American presidential candidate.
I’ve got more than a few reasons – and they all sort of come together.
I spent some time in the US as a child – and as a result spent a large part of my childhood with a bit of an American identity. It’s also remained a large part of my cultural background. It’s the music I hear, and the books, I read – the comics I grew up on, and various other things. Not quite Apple Pie and the Superbowl, but still 😉
The other thing is that, like it or not – America influences the whole world, and well, to be honest, considering how America has been lately, I have to say I don’t like the effect it’s having. I remember thinking years ago that because America chooses to stick its nose into the politics of just about every country in the world – then all citizens of the world should get to vote in American elections. That is, after all, the whole notion of democracy; that you get to vote on the people who affect your life.
I remember, for example, years ago – long before they ‘killed’ Captain America – there was a storyline in the comic when he was told that because the US Government developed the super soldier serum and the name and the costume of Captain America – that they ‘owned’ the brand – and he was told that he must either serve the government or give up the costume and the shield and the name. He went over to the committee that he had to answer to, and he told them clear and simple that he believed it was his duty to serve the American Ideal and that the government was just not doing that, and that he could therefore not subject himself to its will, and on that note, he left behind his costume, his shield, and the name of Captain America – and for a while, in the comics, operated only as The Captain. Incredibly enough, at the same time, Axl sung the lines ‘Captain America’s been torn apart / now he’s a court jester with a broken heart / he said “turn me around and take me back to the start / I must be losing my mind / are you blind? I’ve seen it all a million times” – in the song Paradise City.
In short, yeah. I do care. And it matters. And I am incredibly saddened by the horror that is Bush, and I am terrified of the nightmare that will be Hillary if she wins. I don’t trust her one tiny little bit. She strikes me as a cold, calculating, opportunistic schemer, and I know she’d be a terrible mistake. And I certainly don’t feel any better about Obama – and these are the two being shoved down everybody’s throat by the media. I don’t get it.
Things just … don’t look the same from different places.
I’ve lived in America, and I’ve lived in Egypt, and I’ve lived in the Arabian Gulf, and I’ve lived in Italy, and I’ve been to a whole lot of other countries in between – so I understand – to some extent why certain things aren’t clear to most Americans – and it saddens me that this unfortunate ignorance regarding the rest of the world is accompanied by such power over the rest of the world. The results have been catastrophic. For Afghanistan, for Iraq, for Palestine, and in fact, for the soul of America.
Some people can see this, some people can’t.
Things like the Project for the New American Century, and the neo-cons that drive such projects – the people that hoped for a ‘pearl harbor’ type event that would allow them to stretch their military muscle across the globe to establish an American Empire – these things scare me. They scare the living hell out of me. Gravel knows these things, and I’ve heard him mention them when he speaks – he actually cares, actually knows, and actually speaks. It’s not a common thing, and it’s breathtaking to see, and touching to hear. My eyes are welling up right now just thinking of the man, knowing how difficult it is for a man like him to win, and yet – how vitally necessary it is that he does.
It’s a hell of a world we’re in. This isn’t what it should be like. This was never how it should’ve been. I just keep hoping that it’s not too late, that we haven’t crossed some horrific point of no return. That we have not doomed both ourselves and generations to come.
Vote for Gravel.