Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Making An Exception

I generally don't talk about politics much. Egyptian politics are confusing, frustrating, and usually pretty pointless. The government here does pretty much what it wants and it's up to us to cope, not that this course of events is so different anywhere else as well really. After almost 60 years of watching politics in a number of countries it all starts to get a bit blurry.

However, the recent nightmarish possibility that someone like Sarah Palin could actually become the Vice President of the United States has made me break my politics rule. I'm watching the US elections with a great deal of interest this year. She was picked so carefully to provide McCain with some kind of excitement (I've seen him speak...he does not generate much heat and tends to simply repeat himself...old age?) but what a horrific possibility. How are women in the US supposed to support a woman who as mayor of a town in Alaska was the one to insist that rape victims pay for the rape kit used by the police in their investigations...something like that is usually on the house, to say the least. The New York Times article that the title accesses offers innumberable reasons to doubt the suitability of this woman for a job that could put her in the Presidency should her well-aged partner kick off any time in the next four years.

Personally, I see this election as being much more important to the US internationally than it is to the country domestically. The President of the United States is the public face of the country. Bad enough the world has had to put up with the Howdy Doody brainlessness of George W. for the past too many seasons...but if the voters in the United States show that they feel this superannuated "war hero" and the brainless (albeit fiendishly clever and manipulative) set of boobs chosen to accompany him are to be the public face of the "leader of the free world" I honestly suspect that there is going to be a major reconsideration of just how important the US is anyway. And with the financial crises that are being set off by the banking crisis in the US, there will be even more cause to reconsider.

Of course, one of the major characteristics of American culture, especially as epitomized by Fox News and CNN and such, is the tendency to imagine that the rest of the world is "just like us" only poorer or that they are the enemy. In actual fact, neither of these assumptions is justified, and I sort of doubt that very many Americans are really going to worry too much about what the rest of the world thinks about the US Presidency. On what basis Americans are going to choose between the candidates remains to be seen but the possibilities are a bit daunting.

As a North American living in the Middle East, the low level of international knowledge shown by Palin, despite the fact that she can see Russia from an island off the coast of Alaska, is rather frightening. Ignorance is definitely not bliss...just ask anyone who's been involved in the Iraq war which has been a monument to ignorance and lies from day one. Now that it's finally public that Bush lied about the reasons for the war, maybe it's time to seriously re-evaluate the US activities in the region. Somehow I can't see McCain and Palin doing that.

It's going to be an interesting election....as in the Chinese curse that wishes one to live in "interesting" times.

Sorry, no photos here. I tried to use some from the web and none of the ones I uploaded of Sarah Palin would show in the blog...I wonder what that means.




copyright 2008 Maryanne Stroud Gabbani

26 comments:

Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

Agreed. She's dangerously ignorant AND so far to the right it's amazing. If that pair gets elected, I will have lost hope in the American public forever.

Akinoluna - a female Marine said...

I laughed outloud at the Howdy Doody part and oatmeal almost fell out of my mouth.

You're right about all of that though. I've been overseas for most of the last five years and after watching from afar, dang it, our politics just gets more and more embarassing every year.

I will agree with some who say Obama doesn't have as much "experience" as most presidential candidates have, whatever they mean by "experience" since Lincoln had less than him. But at least he is smart, well-traveled, and educated enough to make up for it.

Palin isn't. And that fact, combined with McCain's shaky health and advanced age, is very scary! President Palin?? AHHHHH!!!

People like to say it doesn't matter, but I DO think that America's image abroad is important. If we become the country known for its stupid, wacko presidents, why should anybody want anything to do with us? How would we be any different than any other country with wacko leaders?

Connie said...

I had been thinking that I was going to vote independent this year - in protest against both major parties - as I am tired of voting for the lesser of two evils. McCain's choice of Palin has chased me firmly into Obama's camp. And I am a woman, a mom, a NRA supporter, anti-Clinton (both of them), etc. I think I am one of those who was supposed to come running at the chance to vote for a gun-toting woman with babies.... no way... as they say on Fark.com, Palin is full of FAIL.

Michalea said...

It is embarrassing to be a US citizen right now. You make points that many of us here TRY to make, but there seems to be a willful stupidity going on. I sincerely hope that at least 51% of us grow a brain in the next 48 days.

Rhonda said...

I am right there with you Maryanne. She scares me. Even worse though are a good number of my friends who think she is great! Omigod. I don't think McCain is near the conservative that she is.

Anonymous said...

Do you vote? You are still an American citizen with the right an absentee vote. I am not just talking about this year, have you been voting? The way your blog is worded it sounds like you have separated yourself from being an American Citizen. If you don't vote you have no right to complain.

Maryanne Stroud Gabbani said...

Gee, Anonymous. You sound like a perfect McPalin supporter. If you'd bothered to read anything at the beginning of my blog, you'd have noticed that I'm a Canadian who is resident in Egypt. So, thank heaven, I don't have to vote in American elections. I do, as a citizen of the earth that we all inhabit, unfortunately have to put up with the rash actions of unprepared politicians with entirely too much firepower and manpower and too little guidance at their disposal. I have every bloody right to complain as does anyone who has to put up with the United States trying to impose their version of "democracy" on the rest of the world...a "democracy" that includes the last two highly dubious presidential elections.

Anonymous said...

No it says that you moved to Egypt from Canada. I have been a long time reader of your blog. I do believe you were born in America. Isn't your husband the one who was Canadian, didn't you transplant to Canada? So did you give up your American citizenship? Why do you have your comments approved? Why not let everyone say what they wish and then erase the advertisements later? So do you vote in any country? Who said anything about me being a Palin supporter-hmm that was you. I think you should not have made an exception with this post, if you don't vote.

Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

Anon, Maryanne has been moderating her comments for a very long time; not because she's trying to silence anyone, but because it's a safer way to prevent hateful speech. I run a photo blog, and my comment moderation is always turns on.

As for nationality, if you have been following this blog then you'll know that Maryanne comes across as quite transparent. Why would she lie about her nationality?

Maryanne Stroud Gabbani said...

As a Canadian resident of Egypt for the past twenty years, I cannot vote in Canada...we have a different electoral system that is based on local voting, so you need to be a Canadian resident or simply overseas for a short period and retaining a residence in Canada..which I don't. I did move from the US to Canada and when I took Canadian citizenship, I was told that my American citizenship would be withdrawn...that was fine with me. However, since then I've found that this rule, like so many in the US was not true. Apparently, if I wanted to claim my US passport (something that I've never had) I actually could, although why I might ever want to do something like that is utterly beyond me. As a non-citizen of Egypt (not by my choice but due to a bureaucratic glitch here..one of only twenty gazillion) I have no right to vote in Egypt. Simply voting somewhere does not necessarily give you a right to comment or not comment on anything.

Maryanne Stroud Gabbani said...

Oh, yes. I moderate comments here because we were getting a lot of spam and it's a pain in the neck to have to check each post (out of 5 years of writing) to see if someone is posting spam...ads, nonsense posts and the like. Not just comments that I don't necessarily agree with. Housekeeping.

Connie said...

It's usually the negative comments - as in, a nothing to add complaint wrapped around a personal attack, vs. a comment in support a valid ALTERNATIVE point of view - that comes in anonymous packaging. Just an observation.

btw - REAL Americans believe in free speech for all, not just Americans. ***waves flag***

I'm sure Palin has some things about her for people to support, because obviously, they do. Maybe if I were to compare her to who she was running against in her local elections, I may have chosen her too, locally. As for PRESIDENTIAL elections. No. There are better candidates.

Miss X said...

Sarah Palin scares the living shit out of me. Sorry for being crass on your blog, MA, but it's only the truth. The woman is devil incarnate.

OBAMA/BIDEN '08! I'm ordering my absentee ballot this week.

Barb said...

This entire election scares me to death. I found myself talking at the cafe today, about Sarah Palin Glasses, being all the rage. Where are our priorities? What will become of the States? How will we survive the stock market?
When will the Government open it's eyes to the cooruption?

Anonymous said...

Why was my last message sensored?

Maryanne Stroud Gabbani said...

The last comment received from you (assuming of course that you are the same Anonymous as before) was posted as received. I don't even edit the spelling, much less censor. I do, however, delete spam and simple ranting hate.

vagabondblogger said...

You can read and watch and believe what you want, but the USA is about to elect their first black president! I'd like to see another Canadian, European, other country even allow a black to run for president (outside of Africa). There is one thing that makes our country great, regardless of our mistakes, and that is we have The American Dream - no one else owns it, and no one else can copy it. And Barack Obama is the living, breathing embodiment of that.

madpotter1 said...

MA I ran across your blog by accident as my daughter, a Peace Corp volunteer is currently on vacation in Dahab. Heard about the kidnaping and wondered where it was....... your blog popped up.

As an American citizen I am outraged a person like Sarah Palin is even on the presidential ticket. Obama is future, McCain is the past and needs to stay there.
I have not worked on a campaign since the 70's but I have come out of hiding to work for Obama in this election. I am scared to death that someone like McCain will be elected and Palin will be one heartbeat away from the Oval office.
Thank you so much for posting your thoughts on this blog!
MP

Maryanne Stroud Gabbani said...

The kidnapping took place in the middle of nowhere down near the Sudanese/Libyan/Chad border. Gilf el Kabir is a major expedition and if you go down there it has to be incredibly well organised just to be sure that the desert doesn't get you. Your daughter is quite safe. Most dangerous thing in Dahab these days is sunburn.

I sure hope that the US goes for Obama..the alternative is very scary.

madpotter1 said...

MA,
thank you so much!
peace to you and yours in a far away land from Ohio.
all the best,
Sandy

Rhonda said...

I guess I was meant to read this tonight. I have made some of my 'friends' angry because they sent me anti Muslim email (pics of Muslim extremists marching in London with violent anti American signs after the 2006 Danish cartoon episode) and then ended it with "Vote for Obama? I think not." There are a lot of emails trying to prey on peoples fears and ignorance. Saying Obama has Muslim roots and not to vote for him. Well, needless to say I have pissed some people off. Oh well.

vagabondblogger said...

We have family members who actually send us that garbage, I think just to anger us. All that does is shore up support for the people who are already in McCain & Palin's base. As the race gets closer and the Republicans get more desperate, the ads & e-mails containing lies & hate against Obama will get worse. I am trying to stay positive about this, even though the thought of either McCain or Palin anywhere near the red button gives me the willies.

Maryanne Stroud Gabbani said...

http://egan.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/17/moo/

This is definitely worth reading and passing along.

Teresa/ride4fun said...

http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/warner-todd-huston/2008/09/24/old-media-pushes-false-rape-kit-charge-against-gov-palin

gosh I always thought you had a bit more independence than to just believe what someone fed you Maryanne. How disappointing to find out otherwise.

Maryanne Stroud Gabbani said...

Given the convoluted genesis of the rape kit story, it's hardly surprising that it's been taken the way it was. Even if it isn't true, that is the least of my concerns about Sarah Palin, the absolute least. Having watched her in action, even if she were giving rape kits away...and in a town the size of Wasilla, I would hope that not too many would be used...I would still say that this woman is WILDLY unprepared to be either Vice President, or even more horrifyingly given the age and condition of her running mate, President of one of the most influential nations on earth. She still represents what terrifies many people outside the US, that someone so totally clueless and dogmatic can be elected by the American population. And they have the nerve to talk about fundamentalists as though Islam were the only religion with scary dangerous ones....time to ride a nice sane horse.

Susie of Arabia said...

I truly feel that the US is WAY overdue for a female in the White House - but Palin is NOT the one! Yikes - heaven help us all if McCain is elected.
And for Anonymous - why are you so afraid of putting your name with your remarks? Posting as Anonymous is the coward's way out.