Mon Nov 5, 2012, 03:13 AM
BlueMTexpat (3,808 posts)
One view from abroad [View all]
After intermittent spurts of working abroad in my early and middle years, for the last 14 years of my full-time professional career, I was based in central Europe. It was from here that I watched appalled, as the heartbreaking election of 2000 was stolen, and even more appalled as Bush II & Co let 9-11 happen despite many quite specific warnings, lied my country into illegal war in Iraq, let NOLA die and nearly toppled not only the financial and economic situation of the US but that of the entire world. That is but a brief overview of the damage they caused, including incredible damage to US goodwill and reputation abroad.
The sheer vitriol of the RW GOP attacks against President Clinton in the 90s were, up to then, the worst that I had seen in my lifetime - which extends from the last couple years of FDR to date. The continuing viciousness of the attacks against Presidential candidates Gore and Kerry, indeed against anyone who would not fall in line with a RW Talibanesque agenda, made me wonder if the country where I had been born, reared and educated had literally gone insane. In fact, until I discovered DFA in late 2003 and thereafter, sites like DU - where I lurked for years before finally signing up - I believed that only those I knew well - family and friends - felt anything like I did. The view that I received from US MSM, and even from the BBC, was that the majority of Americans were in lockstep behind the Bush Administration with extremely narrow, mostly incorrect, views and knowledge of the world outside the USA.
I decided that I had to be able to offer an alternative POV, at least to my grandchildren, other family members and friends. So, when I retired, I exercised my option to retire abroad. This has meant that I still have to work part-time to support my comparatively expensive lifestyle. Pension, SS and savings, etc. alone just won't cut it. But so long as I am physically, mentally and financially able to do it, I will continue. And yes, the young ones have come. Some have even stayed with me while pursuing classes in French and having the kind of international experiences that I literally would have died for at their ages. Other family members and friends have also come to see for themselves that life on the international scene is not something to be feared, but to be savored and enjoyed, and that we can all learn a lot from each other.
In 2008, I was very proud when we elected Barack Obama as our President. Like so many liberals, I was disappointed when he did not stand up to GOP obstructionism otherwise act in ways I would have preferred. But given the incredible mess that he had inherited, both foreign and domestic, I realized that he was, in fact, doing pretty well at getting the country back on an even keel - and this in spite of unprecedented GOP opposition. So there was never any question that I would not, once again, back him wholeheartedly. The Dems Abroad group here is quite active and I have been proud to be part of it.
US MSM media coverage of this election has been appalling. Unfortunately, the "horse-race" theme has carried over to European coverage. I don't get Faux Noise here in my cable package. But in addition to local language news coverage, I do receive English-speaking Euronews, BBC World, as well as BBC channels 1-4, ITV, CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg and Al Jazeera English. So I have a fairly decent selection. Until this morning, all outlets endlessly repeated the "horse-race" theme.
So, it was with great relief that this morning, one of those channels, ironically Al Jazeera English, actually sidestepped the hors-erace theme being reported - nearly hysterically - on all other channels, to cover the predictions of Nate Silver, Sam Wang and others who are focusing on the EV counts, where a truer picture of this election emerges. After hearing this comparatively sane coverage, I checked the respective websites of these so-called "news" gatherers for Nate Silver.
Here is AJE's article: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/11/201211471425526624.html
I could not find even a mention of Nate Silver on the Beeb, CNBC or Bloomberg websites. (Perhaps that is due to my deficient search powers.) There was a short article in CNN, ironically in the "belief" blog (which also features a photo of Nate, for those who have never seen the guru in person): http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/02/my-take-ive-got-my-money-on-the-church-of-nate-silver/?iref=allsearch
Two of my "standard" non-US news sources, the Guardian and the Independent, also mention Nate, just enough to hedge their bets, IMO. The majority of their coverage also reflects the "horserace" meme.
Here's the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/nov/04/storm-sandy-us-elections-speculation?INTCMP=SRCH
Here's the Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/iv-drip/nate-silver-says-state-polling-points-to-victory-for-obama-8273566.html?origin=internalSearch
So this is primarily to say, once again, a heartfelt "Thank you!" to DU - just for being you and for helping me to remain halfway sane during this seemingly everlasting election! Without you, I literally would not have survived.
Cheers! May we all savor a sweet victory for President Obama on Tuesday!
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One view from abroad [View all]
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