I Am a World Citizen

November 3, 2004

[multicultural]I’m trying not to be depressed. But I have never cared so much about a presidential election in my life. …And I voted for the “compassionate conservative” four years ago! I suppose I lean conservative when it comes to economic policy, so I could potentially stand to gain from a healthier economy over the next four years. But I am one who “voted against his own economic interests” — my main concern is foreign policy.

Note that I am not just talking about the war in Iraq, I mean our overall policy in general, which I will sum up like this: “We will do whatever the hell we want to, no matter what the world thinks. In fact, our ways are not only superior, but we will impose them on others.” Or, to put it in a single word: hubris.

I am an American who grew up overseas. I love America, but consider myself a world citizen. And although I think that Bush may be good for the economy in the short term, in the long run, our current foreign policy could hurt the U.S. economy. Globalization is a fact of life, but the U.S. still plays superpower, like a school bully. Eventually this will catch up with us, because nobody likes to play with a bully. Already the E.U. is a larger economy than the U.S.

And this is just looking at things from an economic perspective. I haven’t even touched the questions of morality — which, amazingly, is the #1 reason people voted for Bush. Please, morality goes beyond one’s personal sexual mores! Isn’t morality fundamentally about how you treat other people? Without moral underpinning, acting solely on our superior armed forces only reinforces the notion of the U.S. as the world’s bully.

I know that many of my readers and even many of my closest friends voted for Bush. I’m not here to bash you, or to bash Bush, who is president for the next four years regardless of anyone’s opinions. And you know I am not a big political pundit. But I wanted to write this, partly to get it off my chest, but partly to challenge you, dear reader, no matter where you are or who you voted for, to stretch your vision of the world to include peoples and cultures that are vastly different from our own.

Jon Reid

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As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.

13 responses to I Am a World Citizen

  1. I’m trying to not be depressed too, Jon. Well, maybe it’s OK to be depressed for a day or so, but then . . . back to changing the world for the better.
    I will respect and support President Bush in the interest of national unity. I will also be delighted to help with the holding of his feet to the fire to make sure he keeps his promises about getting out of Iraq, strengthening Social Security, mending relationships with the global community, etc.
    XOXO buddy.

  2. Cheer up Jon. 58 million Americans can’t be wrong 😛 ..

  3. **warning: Rant ahead**
    I hate to break it to you, but Bush is not good for the economy either. In fact, it’s a historical proof that Republican presidents bring depressions in the economy (anybody remember our favorite Californian president from the 80’s?). Today, the price of oil went up $1 a barrell when it was known that Bush is President again. How do you think that’s going to effect our gas prices, already well over $2.25 a gallon?
    I’m with you Jon, he’s bad news and a spoiled bully and I am repulsed to call myself an American under his administration. When people ask me where I am from when I am out of the country, I say California, but really, I want to say “from Earth”. I’m not an American, I am human. Unfortunatley, I don’t think this administration feels the same way.
    Just think, in the last 4 years, he has been holding back, because he wanted to get re-elected. Now, it’s no holds barred.
    That’s my rant.

  4. Like I said, when it comes to economics, I tend to lean right. I think that Reagan’s free-market policies led the US out of the stagflation of the Carter years, and that going from a more rigid to a more free market first involved turmoil before the market settled into the greatest boom in history. We still don’t pay as much for gas as the rest of the world does, and the upward pressure on gas prices may finally break the resistance of the auto makers towards increasing fuel efficiency or exploring alternative fuels. …Anyway, all that to explain a bit more about my economic views — and that those views were not important to me in this election.

  5. I’m not so sure the Japanese are going to be riding in to the rescue to buy our T-bills like they did in the 80s, to help fund our massive deficit spending. Their economy seems to be in the doldrums. Anyway, I’m not really that concerned about the economy, since I remain unconvinced about any President’s ability to perturb the economy much one way or the other in the long run.
    I’m a lot more worried about W getting us into more shooting wars abroad (North Korea anyone?) and the general curtailment of civil liberties at home that the current administration and their partners in Congress.

  6. Don’t blame me… I voted for Pedro.

  7. where did you grow up overseas?

  8. Kay & I are both missionary kids born and raised in Japan.

  9. I hated this election, I really did.
    The idea of either Bush or Kerry in the White House for the next four years is a frightening thought. Bush’s shortcomings are obvious and well documented… yet I voted for him for one reason: fear of who Kerry would appoint to the Supreme Court during his term. These four years will certainly see some changes in the makeup of the Supreme Court and I feel that the SC is becoming more and more important to the direction of our country.
    I fully agree with Sojourners’ catch-phrase that ‘God is not a Republican (or a Democrat)’… and this year really made me wonder how I could vote for either candidate in good conscience.

  10. good stuff jon. (this is said in a quiet and respectfull way….the one thing I hate about blogging is that you can’t hear peoples tone of voice and so people can become very heated
    easily)Jon – I can understand I can understand you p.o.v. but my question is this; “What should our response be to those people that want to kill us ?” or “What should we do when we find out people are being mass murdered for ethnic cleansing ?” Everyone is saying that there are “NO WMD’s” but we know that he has used them against his own people in the past. Killing hundreds of thousands. This war has caused me to question my beliefs…and I still can’t tell you which is worse; standing by knowing a murdering dictator is killing his own people, or killing those same people in the attempt to remove that dictator. Should we stand up to Osama bin Laden and attempt to destroy terrorist, or should we allow God to avenge. btw I am not saying Iraq and Osama are together…these are the questions that plague my mind.

  11. Hi Craig! Hope you are doing better — missed you at Soliton 2.
    As I said, my concerns are larger than the Iraq war or the U.S. response to terrorism. Maybe because I come from a warped cultural background, I am more sensitive to USAmerican pride. This pride has resulted in good things, such as amazing advances in science and technology. But when it comes to dealing with other cultures, I’m afraid that’s where the “ugly USAmerican” stereotype comes in.
    As for “what should our response be to those people that want to kill us,” the US is trying to treat jihadists as though they were mafia, simply trying to break up their operation. But what if our very actions only reinforce the jihadists and add to their number and their conviction? I’m not saying force is not necessary, but it is not sufficient. Cultural diplomacy, just in terms of money spent and people sent, has declined dramatically under the present administration. Part of this is the jihadist strategy working: our response to bombings of US embassies has been to turn them into fortresses. Even before the war, we have been playing into their hands.

  12. The one thing, economically speaking, that really scares me about our illustrious President’s bully tactics is the resulting falling value of the dollar. As a result of our lack of regard for other nations diplomatics has led to the dollar being on a precarious edge of falling off as the world trade currency. When/if this happens then it very much could result in a large economic crash in America. I personally believe that this is the reason that the Bush administration went to war. If you want to read about it, please go here. http://www.ratical.com/ratville/CAH/RRiraqWar.html
    To myself this spells a lot of hard times coming for America. I’m hoping that I’m just being a pessimist and that things really won’t be that bad. Maybe things will change, maybe this really isn’t as bad as it’s starting to look. I hope so.
    Disclaimer: These are just my opinions and I offer them humbly and without the intention of sparking any sort of arguement.

  13. I’m very concerned bringing healing to rift that has occurred…not only in the nation but in the church. Not good, folks.
    I for one am committed to finding common ground. Jesus is a good place to start I think. :^)