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.