It wont be easy for me to put this into one coherent post…so here is an incoherent one….
I am the product of economically progressive and socially liberal parents. I consider myself liberal relative to social issues and fiscally conservative (due to my handbag count, my husband would disagree) but with an emphasis on education and health for all. As far as presidents go, I am still waiting for a leader with conviction that isn’t a personal mess. So it wouldn’t be surprising to you that the Reagan and Bush Part I years where difficult ones for me. While Carter was honorable he was a micro-manager who was politically naive and ultimately weak. Clinton was effective and inspiring but such a horndog that he himself sabotaged and minimized his achievements.
Needless to say, the last four years of You know who has been extremely painful. Where do I begin? I have alternatively believed You know who was stupid, crazy, a puppet of others or could not possibly be elected again, so who cares, just move on(sorry to say I was wrong there). My current theory is that he is a Christian Fundamentalist who thinks he gets his orders from God. Is that crazy? I guess I shouldn’t judge. But he is not the dude cleaning my windshield at the gas station, he is the fucking president. Crazy? maybe not, but dangerous, I think YES!!!! If being inappropriately guided by your religious principles wasn’t enough, he has surrounded himself by an array of men who each have their own frightening and diverse agenda anxiously awaiting implementation.
So while we didn’t come to Argentina to escape You know who, we are happily oblivious to the daily dealings and misdeeds of the current administration. It takes much more effort to get myself worked up about the state of our union than while I had 24/7 access to our fine news media. While the USA may be the center of the universe, the papers and TV here are void of the pathologically compulsive analysis of the news and the equally obsessive analysis of the press coverage itself. The BA paper reports world news with facts and photos. I know that x number people in Afghanistan were assassinated and the French are being French about the EU constitution. I don’t know what everyone and their mother thinks about it. If I want to make myself nuts there is always the the internet and blogs.
Here in Argentina local news and news relating to their own whacked out president is spun in a multitude of ways. I find politics here amusing..it is not my government or I would be mortified by the political bad manners here. Politicians are really bad sports. They(woman are well represented in local and national government surprisingly) like to yell at each other, calling each other Nazis, stupid and ugly. Usually they apologize the next day, but you know they meant it.
I suppose using the words political exile to describe myself is a little bit of an overstatement. I suppose I am in danger of minimizing the struggle of real political refugees and people that leave their homes reluctantly because the quality of their life is changing for the worst. So if I have offended anyone, sorry. It is meant as a dramatic literary device. Its ironic..exiled to Argentina?!?of all places and I am a soccer mom from suburban USA. Not the usual enemy of the state.
I hate the current administration (not individual people, I tell my children, you can hate ideas not people). I am saddened by where they have taken us and and frighten by where we appear to be going.
I have people in my life, who I love, that dont feel the same way I do. Which is OK. Most friends in the states may be be on board with You know who, they may be be a little concerned or they are so cynical about politics and world events they have checked out all together. The point being, hardly ever in the ten years I lived in Connecticut, did I have a satisfying political discussion with anyone. And I don’t mean an argument that I win. I mean talking, conversing, sharing views that challenge the official line from the White House or the pablum that is dished out by the mainstream media. After 9/11 it was all about flags and preserving the “American” way of life. More that once I made the mistake of throwing out the idea of taking a moment before blowing up Afghanistan and Iraq and think about not why Osama Bin Laden is a lunatic, but try to understand why much of the Islamic world mistrusts or hates us. I think there was a real lost opportunity in not trying to understand how come our foreign policy and their economic sub-strata position in the world was pissing them off. (hint:Blindingly Pro-Israel+ hypocrisy and economic opportunism in Saudi Arabia + poverty= Chaos).
I guess when we left I was happy to leave the news, the apparent lack of concern about where You know who was taking us, and the Presidential election. I could never have imagined that You know who would be re-elected. I am certainly in no hurry to get back. But I really do love the idea of the USA……..